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Shorebirds Cape York Peninsula

The coastline of Cape York Peninsula is largely sandy with steep and rocky sections. This may explain why it has relatively lower numbers of shorebirds than other areas. Locally high concentrations of shorebirds do occur around river mouths and mangrove-lined bays and estuaries, e.g. around Cape Keerweer, and in Albatross, Archer, Newcastle, Temple, Lloyd and Princess Charlotte Bays, as well as, the Jardine River area. 

Queensland shorebird species - Bird wetland indicator species and profiles

Cape York Peninsula

Quick facts

Species information
is lacking for this region as it is remote and much of the coastline has not been surveyed.
Cape York shorebird habitat Photo by Water Planning Ecology Group, DSITI

Seasonal freshwater wetlands that occur behind the coast cater for a range of shorebird species, as well as high numbers of waterbirds. 

Some of the offshore islands host significant shorebird numbers and species diversity. Boydong Island and Pelican Island have supported 1% population thresholds for grey-tailed tattler and lesser sand plover in recent times. In a single survey on Pelican Island, 19 shorebird species were recorded.


This information has been compiled by the Queensland Wader Study Group with input from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, researchers and volunteers (from Australasian Wader Study Group, Birds Queensland, the Port Curtis Wader Study Group, the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, Birds Australia and the Mackay Conservation Group).

These pages are primarily sourced from the report prepared by the Queensland Ornithological Society Inc for the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and the Australian Heritage Committee, Driscoll, P. V. 1995. Survey of wader and waterbird communities along the central Queensland coast.

Please note the information above is based on the best available at the time of publication.

Last updated: 2 February 2021

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2021) Shorebirds Cape York Peninsula, WetlandInfo website, accessed 18 March 2024. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment, Science and Innovation