This paper provides an overview of the Australian Wader Study Group's Population Monitoring Program (PMP) over the last 25 years at sites around Australia and comments on its ability to monitor long-term population trends in several species. The PMP provides the only comprehensive long term data set on shorebird numbers available to planners and government agencies. In this analysis, some of the shorebird count data collected as part of the PMP have been used to describe population trends for selected migratory wader species found in southern Australia. Results highlight the declining population trend for Curlew Sandpiper Charidris ferruginea and suggest declining trends for several other species. The importance of identifying the underlying demographic causes of these trends is emphasised. The need to identify trends early is suggested as a high priority given the habitat loss and other changes occurring in the flyway. Increasing the sensitivity of the PMP counts and addressing other shortcomings of the program require the development of a more robust and comprehensive monitoring design. Some recommendations are made for a National Shorebird Monitoring project.
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