Conservation advocacy wins in 2017

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost the end of 2017. And what a year it’s been! With your help, we’ve continued to advocate for a brighter future for many of Australia’s threatened birds. As we reflect on the year that was, we’d love to hear from you too.

BirdLife people have showed up in the thousands - signing petitions, sending postcards, writing letters, making phone calls, attending town hall meetings, and so much more!

Here’s just a snapshot of the conservation advocacy wins we’ve seen across the country, protecting the threatened birds and many of the Key Biodiversity Areas they call home:

  • In March, Tasmanians called on their elected representatives to reject a bill that sought to open up important habitat for the Critically Endangered Swift Parrot to native forest logging. We were all relieved to see the bill voted down in June.
  • Earlier in the year, 25,000 people also sent a clear message to the WA Government that we must stop clearing important feeding habitat for the Perth population of the Endangered Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo.
  • We’re now one step closer to securing Victoria’s first international bird sanctuary, with the Draft Moolap Plan released in April earmarking the former saltworks for protection. The final Moolap Plan - expected any day!
  • In July, hundreds urged the Australian Government to #RespectRamsar and reject the proposed development in Queensland's Moreton Bay that will encroach on one of the most important wetlands in the world, and destroy important feeding habitat for the Critically Endangered Eastern Curlew.
  • We also called on Minister Frydenberg to protect the best remaining habitat for Southern Black-throated Finch, at risk of extinction as a result of the proposed Carmichael mine.
  • In September, we joined forces with the Lifeblood Alliance to protect the birds of the Murray-Darling Basin from NSW to SA, participating in the Healthy Rivers Roadshow and Water Week Summit in Canberra.

And even in the last few weeks, we’ve seen some huge wins for threatened birds:

  • After years of uncertainty, Yandina Creek wetlands in Queensland was officially opened, and action has begun to restore this important wetland for waterbirds and migratory shorebirds.
  • Also good news, WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson, has backed the recommendation from the EPA to reject a mining proposal in the Helena and Aurora Range – one of our most precious natural landscapes.
  • We’ve also had an overwhelming response to our petition to protect important rainforest habitat for the Endangered Abbotts Booby and Critically Endangered Christmas Island Frigatebird – now almost 40,000 signatures!

Of course, none of these would have been possible without the efforts of our powerhouse Branches and incredible volunteers! Thank you to all who have taken a stand for threatened birds in 2017.

As we look forward to 2018, we must turn our attention to getting another very important piece of the puzzle right: fixing a broken system that allows so many birds to become imperilled in the first place, and ensuring the community has a stronger voice in protecting the places we love.We’ll be launching this campaign early next year, so stay tuned to hear how you can be involved.

In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you. We’ve put together a short survey that only takes 5 minutes to complete and would love to hear what you think.

Have a safe and Merry Christmas, and we look forward to continuing to work together in 2018.

Margaret Quixley

Conservation Manager