The Australasian Wader Studies Group (AWSG) (http://www.awsg.org.au) is a specialist body of BirdLife Australia, and one of the world’s leading bodies for shorebird research. The AWSG’s excellent and consistent contribution to the knowledge-base and conservation of shorebirds on this Flyway should already be well-known to all Birds Koreans and to all visitors to our websites and blog.
The AWSG were, for example, our partners for the Saemangeum Shorebird Monitoring Program (2006-2008); the AWSG helped find support for researchers from the ROK to take part in counting programs in NW Australia (see: http://www.birdskorea.org/News/Members_updates/BK-MU-2008-12.shtml); and the AWSG is the body that collates information on bands and flag records throughout the length of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.
One of the AWSG’s major research projects is the (more or less annual) counting and banding of shorebirds and terns in Northwest Australia – a beautiful and rather remote area of outstanding importance to many of the shorebirds that migrate through Korea and the Yellow Sea. Previous discoveries made during expeditions there include confirmation of the main wintering area of Great Knot and an unprecedented count of over 2.8 million Oriental Pratincole (http://www.birdskorea.org/Birds/Miscellaneous/BK-BM-Oriental-Pratincoles.shtml).
Details of the next three-week count initiative in North-west Australia (February 16th-March 9th 2014) have just been released by the AWSG.
For those with time (and some money..) who want to see tens or even hundreds of thousands of shorebirds, to experience amazing landscapes, and to contribute to vital shorebird research conducted by some of the world’s top shorebirders, this expedition really should be for you.
For those who are interested, please contact the AWSG and expedition organisers directly.
NWA Expedition 2014 Introduction