The Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary is a unique safe haven for shorebirds, many migrating each year between Australia and the northern hemisphere. It is now officially recognised as a globally significant site as part of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Network.
The Bird Sanctuary offers a landscape where local communities, volunteers, government, non-government organisations, and land managers can work together towards shorebird conservation, enhancing community and ensuring that tourism is also protecting this valuable place.
For many years activity in this area has ranged from traditional Aboriginal land use practices to salt production and farming alongside landscape conservation.
The Bird Sanctuary sits right at the southern end of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) and is one of the key feeding and roosting sites for migratory shorebirds who use the flyway each year. It is an area of crucial habitat on this migratory route which is used by more than 5 million birds a year, 27,000 of which call Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary home.
Whilst being one of Adelaide’s longest continuous conservation areas, the Bird Sanctuary is home to 263 unique fauna and flora species. In particular, the Bird Sanctuary helps protect resident and migratory shorebirds, including threatened species such as Curlew sandpiper, Ruddy turnstone, Red knot and Eastern curlew as well productive mangroves, marine and coastal assets, river systems and many significant terrestrial species and ecological communities.
A northern section of the Bird Sanctuary has recently been proclaimed the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary National Park - Winaityinaityi Pangkara and is the state’s first new National Park in a decade. The national park, which covers 2457 hectares of land, is part of the South Australian Government’s commitment to conserve these shorebirds.
Over the next year, the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary National Park - Winaityinaityi Pangkara, will expand further and we now need to establish a sustainable Management Plan to give people guidance on how they can access and enjoy it.
Visiting the Bird Sanctuary
At the Southern Gateway to the Bird Sanctuary, the St Kilda foreshore is a food bowl for many shorebirds and at times can draw in over 3000 foraging banded stilts. The Northern Gateway, located at Thompson Beach, gives you access to kilometres of pristine coastline including samphire and intertidal mudflats.
For ideas on what else you can see and do in the bird sanctuary, including brochures and maps, visit Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary National Park - Winaityinaityi Pangkara.