Mark Barter at the Shortlands Wetlands Centre in Australia (2007),
with “Nicky” Yang Hong-Yan (foreground) – now a lead researcher in the Bohai Bay
(See the Blueprint, pp. 118-121). Copyright Nial Moores/Birds Korea
It is with much sadness that we learned that Mark Barter passed away yesterday (November 21st) after a long illness. Mark made an outstanding contribution to migratory waterbird research and conservation in the East Asian–Australasian Flyway. Amongst many achievements, he supported the development of the Australasian Wader Studies Group (being Chair from 1987 to 1997), wrote the seminal monograph on Shorebirds of the Yellow Sea (published by Wetlands International in 2002), and was deeply involved in training and survey programs in eastern China (through the 2000s). His positive influence on shorebird and waterbird conservation in this region and along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway has been enormous.
This work was carried out with a determination and energy that were softened, to my eye, by his De Niro-like wry grin and a no-fuss sense of humour. His work, personality and integrity won him many friends and much respect.
Several of us had the opportunity to sign a letter of tribute to Mark earlier this month. An award will be established in his name. The greatest tribute to Mark and his body of work, however, can most likely be shown by winning conservation of more key sites in the Yellow Sea, and by halting declines in so many of the EAAF’s migratory waterbird species.
Mark, thank you for all you have done. You will long be remembered.
Nial Moores, Birds Korea (November 22nd 2011)
- Australasian Wader Studies Group: http://awsg.org.au/