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World Migratory Bird Day Movie Night in Adelaide Raises Funds for Nature Education

The Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary in cooperation with Birds South Australia (SA), BirdLife Australia, Nature Play as well as the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Natural Resource Management Board, organized a movie night and fundraising event on 10 May 2016, to mark World Migratory Bird Day in Adelaide. The film night emphasized the conservation of migratory shorebirds and the importance of the Bird Sanctuary, a site which is home to up to 27,000 shorebirds throughout the year, and of significance to migratory birds which use the East Asian–Australasian Flyway.

Two films were shown at the event: a short documentary produced locally by BirdLife Australia, and included below, gave insight into the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary, the threats to its shorebirds and current local conservation projects. The feature film of the event was The Big Year, a story about three men, who decide to take a break from their ordinary lives ruled by obligations, in order to spend a year following their dreams. The three characters go on an adventurous journey, which concentrates on spotting as many birds as possible within a year. Through the film night, funds were raised for an educational children’s activity that will take place this autumn.

As experts from BirdLife Australia state in the documentary, proper management of the site is crucial, since it accommodates shorebirds during most of the summer and migratory birds need it as stable habitat to bring up their young. The film illustrates the impressive journey of Australian shorebirds whose migratory routes cover 25,000 kilometers each year crossing 23 countries. As explained in the film, the main threats to migratory birds in South Australia are human disturbance and habitat loss as well as predation by foxes. For example, if disturbed, birds burn energy more quickly, while not having the opportunity to refuel.

The Bird Sanctuary covers an area of 60 square kilometers along the coast of Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia. It accommodates 52 shorebird species, including 37 migratory species, among which several are listed on the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), such as the Grey Plover, the Curlew Sandpiper and the Bar-tailed Godwit.

BirdLife Australia has been active in that area through the Samphire Coast Icon Project, which concentrates on the protection of shorebirds by conserving habitat and coordinating efforts between the local government, communities and the industry. With support from volunteers, BirdLife Australia and Birds SA have launched a banding expedition to monitor the birds’ journeys and track their habitat. Three years of funding were granted towards that project by the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Natural Resource Management Board which manages and protects the region’s natural resources. The South Australian State Government committed four years of funding towards the creation and maintenance of the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary.

To expand awareness-raising activities in the area, the funds raised at the film night will be dedicated to children’s Nature Play education workshops which will be organized by the Bird Sanctuary and are planned for September and October this year.