Wetland destruction means migratory birds will starve

Leigh Dayton, 3/12/09

Migratory shorebirds face starvation from the planned destruction of their wetland “pit stops” in South Korea. The world’s population of great knots has already plummeted 20 per cent because of previous wetland destruction in South Korea, but last month the Environment Ministry approved the Four Major Rivers Restoration Project. A day later, President Lee Myung-bak broke ground on the project, which includes 21 new dams, destruction of 87 old dams and dredging of almost 700km of rivers.Birds such as the great knot, curlew sandpiper and tiny red-necked stint “winter” in coastal waters in Tasmania and southeastern Australia before flying to Siberia to breed in the northern summer.Hobart-based shorebird ecologist Eric Woehler – with Birds Tasmania and the University of Tasmania – said migrating birds used South Korean wetlands to fuel up for the onward journey to Siberia.

See: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/wetland-destruction-means-migratory-birds-will-starve/story-e6frg6nf-1225806349755
Flight of the Great Knots
– 385,000 Global great knot population
– 360,000 Australian great knot summer population
– 4000-10,000 Winter numbers in Australia (young birds not big enough to fly north)
– 20 per cent The decline in the world population due to starvation following the destruction of the South Korean wetlands
– 40,000km The round-trip journey for the enormous flocks on the East-Asian Australasian Flyway