Updated Sun at 1:49am
Habitat destruction is pushing the world's migratory shore birds to the brink, Queensland scientists say.
Habitat critical to shore bird migration, scientists say
Loss of habitat putting many species on brink of extinction, conservationist says
Particular concern for survival of eastern curlew
University of Queensland researcher Rob Clemens said the evidence was clear and that many of the species were in dramatic decline.
"You can look at any bit of data in the country whether it's a nice pristine site or a depleted site you're going to see this decline right across the continent," he said.
Shore birds, which migrate up to 12,000 kilometres in one trip to and from places like Siberia or Alaska, use sites such as the Toondah Harbour tidal flats in Moreton Bay to fatten up over summer and rest for their epic journeys.
But BirdLife Southern Queensland convenor Judith Hoyle is worried the tidal flats will be threatened by a $1.3 billion proposal that would take over a small part of Moreton Bay's internationally significant Ramsar wetland.
"We've got this concept that it's OK to nibble away, that if we just take this little bit it doesn't matter," she said.
"But right along the eastern seaboard this is happening and if we don't start to say 'every little piece of habitat matters' then these birds will become extinct in my life time."
There was particular concern for the world's largest migratory shorebird the eastern curlew.