Prof Richard Fuller, University of Queensland

Richard Fuller is a Professor at the University of Queensland. He studies how people have affected the natural world around them, and how some of their destructive effects can best be reversed. To answer these questions, the lab group works on pure and applied topics in biodiversity and conservation, spanning the fields of migration ecology, conservation planning and urban ecology. Much of the work is interdisciplinary, focusing on the interactions between people and nature, how these can be enhanced, and how these relationships can be shaped to converge on coherent solutions to the biodiversity crisis. See and


Moreton Bay is one of Australia’s premier sites for migratory shorebirds, and it is recognised through its Ramsar listing. The site has about 35,000 birds visiting during the non-breeding season, and many hundreds of young birds use it as a year-round nursery before they are mature enough to migrate. Many migratory shorebird populations are declining in Moreton Bay. Habitat loss along the migration routes of the birds in the Yellow Sea is a major cause of the declines, but recent analysis of local data suggests that threats operating in Moreton Bay also play an important role.

In this talk I will consider the threats impacting migratory shorebirds in Pumicestone Passage and more broadly throughout Moreton Bay, ranging from vulnerabilities in the network of available roosting sites, human disturbance at roosting and feeding sites, vegetation overgrowth, and deteriorating biomass of invertebrate prey in the sediment. I conclude that effective conservation of migratory shorebirds in Moreton Bay depends on a combination of local actions to address the threats operating within the Bay coupled with international actions aimed at securing the birds’ safety all along their migration routes.

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