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Dr Birgita Hansen

Using waterbird information to demonstrate wetland importance

Waterbirds (which includes shorebirds) are one of the key indicators used to assess wetland importance. This is because waterbird survival is closely tied to the condition of wetlands and the resources wetlands provide to support different life history stages. In turn, waterbirds play an important role in wetland ecosystem function. Measuring breeding events and waterbird abundance in relation to species’ population size thresholds are the most common approaches for using waterbird data to assess the importance of wetlands. At the national scale, migratory shorebird population estimates have been developed and iteratively revised to determine population thresholds for significant impact assessment under the EPBC Act. At the flyway scale, the recently completed Conservation Status Review led by the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership and Wetlands International provides the most comprehensive assessment of waterbird populations for use in multi-scale wetland assessments.

Dr Birgita Hansen

Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation, Federation University

Birgita is a senior research fellow in the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation, where she manages research projects relating to citizen science, natural resource management and digital agriculture. Her primary research focuses on the conservation of shorebirds, waterbirds and their wetland habitats, with a growing emphasis on achieving conservation outcomes through technology-enablement. Birgita is leading The Latham’s Snipe Project, a national citizen science project investigating the movement patterns and habitat use by Latham’s Snipe.