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Aerial Surveys of Waterbirds in Eastern Australia

Aerial Surveys of Waterbirds in Eastern Australia is a collaborative program that monitors ten survey bands that intersect Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

Program start date


Program end date


Objectives of the program

This program aims to:

  • inform jurisdictions about waterbird abundance, distribution and population trends in eastern Australia
  • inform jurisdictions about duck numbers prior to hunting season each year
  • enable identification of key wetland sites that are inundated and providing refuges for waterbirds
  • monitor changes in ecological health of high conservation value wetlands and aquatic assets
  • assess effectiveness of wildlife and water management programs and policies
  • provide essential baseline information with which to assess changes and impacts on the environment, particularly wetlands and rivers.

Who is involved?

Lead organisation

University of New South Wales

Contact details of lead organisation:♲

Partner organisations

New South Wales, South Australian, Queensland and Victorian State Governments

List of indicators monitored

  • Waterbird species are identified and their numbers estimated
  • Nesting birds and those with broods are identified and counted
  • Most of the 50 species can be identified to species level from the air, except for small grebes (Australian little grebe; Hoary headed grebe), large egrets (Intermediate egret and Great egret) and small and large migratory wading birds (Charadriformes).

Scale of program

Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia

Brief description of sampling locations

An area of 2,697,000 km2 is systematically sampled with ten survey bands 30 km in width, spaced every 2° of latitude from 38°30’S to 20°30’S.

Frequency of monitoring

Annual monitoring each October

Where is the program reported?

Aerial Surveys of Waterbirds in Eastern Australia

Last updated: 22 March 2013

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2013) Aerial Surveys of Waterbirds in Eastern Australia, WetlandInfo website, accessed 27 October 2023. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science