Project status: Closed

Thank you for your feedback. Among other things, feedback received through consultation provided insights that led to focusing on the most commonly recorded migratory species, increasing the focus on climate change and adding a new action to reduce biomass at wetland sites and monitor its effectiveness.

See the Action Plan for Listed Migratory Species and check out the photos of our migratory birds.

Action plan for migratory birds

Up to 27 internationally-listed migratory bird species visit the ACT each year, with 13 being regular visitors. Most fly from as far away as northern Siberia, China and Japan to spend their summer non-breeding season in Australia. Two migratory flycatchers breed in the ACT’s mountainous wet sclerophyll forest during spring and summer.

The birds’ favourite places include the Jerrabomberra Wetlands, sewage reticulation ponds, urban wetlands and wet sclerophyll forests in the ACT. They also visit Lake George and Lake Bathurst outside the ACT.

Australia has signed international agreements to protect migratory species, and these 27 birds are listed under the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

As part of our international responsibility to protect migratory species, the ACT Conservator of Flora and Fauna has prepared an action plan to protect and manage the habitats the birds use in the ACT. The Action Plan for Listed Migratory Species also has information about each bird.

Migratory bird habitats around the world are threatened by habitat loss or degradation, often through development or invasion by pest plants and animals, predation, pollution and climate change.

The plan sets out how we can protect, restore and enhance important wetland, wildlife corridors and breeding habitat. It identifies how to manage threats to important sites and habitat and improve our knowledge about the occurrence and management of listed migratory species.

It also encourages the community to find out more about these migratory species and get involved in citizen science to help survey and conserve them.

About the plan

The action plan aims to:

  • identify and protect suitable foraging and breeding habitat critical to the birds’ needs while also reducing threats to the species
  • promote the survey, monitoring and research of migratory species to better understand their ecology and conservation.

The main conservation objective of the action plan is to maintain, conserve and enhance these habitats both inside and outside the ACT’s conservation reserves. Specific goals are to:

  • protect, restore and enhance important wetland, wildlife corridors and breeding habitat
  • manage identified threats to important sites and habitat
  • improve knowledge about the knowledge and occurrence of listed migratory species.

Get involved

The action plan invites volunteers to help implement the plan, both in habitat restoration and maintenance work, but also in volunteering time and expertise as citizen scientists surveying and monitoring migratory bird occurrence and distribution in the ACT, several of which are uncommon and rarely seen. You can volunteer here: Jerrabomberra Wetlands and Canberra Ornithologists Group

Good news story – the Latham’s Snipe

The Latham’s Snipe has captured the imagination of the ACT public. This amazing migratory bird breeds on Hokkaido Island, Japan during the northern summer then flies 8000 kilometres south along the East-Asian Australasian Flyway to reach south-eastern Australia. The ACT is one of the places the Latham’s Snipe spends spring and summer.

The Latham’s Snipe is the subject of a national and international research initiative known as the Latham’s Snipe Project funded by the Japan-Australia Foundation. The project involves Japanese and Australian researchers catching and tagging birds and attaching geo-locators for satellite tracking.

During 2016-17, birds were carefully caught and tagged on Hokkaido island and at several sites in south-eastern Australia, including Port Fairy, Victoria, and Jerrabomberra Wetlands in the ACT. The ACT Government funded satellite tracking of three Latham’s Snipe caught at Jerrabomberra Wetlands during the 2016-17 season.

See more on this project at