Nature conservation

Threatened species

The Shorebird Community occurring on the relict tidal delta sands at Taren Point - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: The Shorebird Community occurring on the relict tidal delta sands at Taren Point
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered Ecological Community
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 29 Sep 1998
Profile last updated: 28 Nov 2023


A group of shorebirds (also called waders) which occupy a particular area of Botany Bay and includes the characteristic assemblage of the following 20 species: Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica), Red Knot (Calidris canutus), Great Knot (Calidris tenuirostris), Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata), Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea), Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis), Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos), Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus), Latham’s Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii), Grey-tailed Tattler (Heteroscelus brevipes), Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola), Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia), Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles), Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis), Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres), Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris), Sooty Oystercatcher (Haematopus fulinginosus), Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), and Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis).


Occurs on the relict marginal shoal of the Georges River between Taren Point and Shell Point in Botany Bay. Some species identified within this community can also be found foraging and roosting at other locations within Botany Bay.

Habitat and ecology

  • In Botany Bay the shorebird community utilises roosting and foraging habitat (intertidal mud flats and sand flats) not only at the relic marginal shoal at Taren Point but at other sites including Penrhyn Inlet, Sandringham and the shoreline adjacent to the north-east side of the Captain Cook Bridge.
  • For some species (Terek Sandpiper, Grey-tailed Tattler), the proximity of mangroves (Avicennia marina) is important as roosting habitat.
  • A majority of these species breed in the northern hemisphere, including northeast Siberia and Alaska. They breed during June/July then leave the breeding grounds and migrate south between August and September.
  • They spend the austral summer in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, southern Asia and Africa. Upon arrival in Australia, they generally return to traditional feeding and roosting locations, such as those found at Taren Point and elsewhere in Botany Bay.
  • They leave Australia between April and May. However juveniles, non-breeders or under-weight individuals often will not migrate north, remaining in their southern foraging grounds over winter.
  • The community usually forage as separate guilds (groups of species) during low tide in locations adjacent to the roost site.
  • The substrates found in the Taren Point area are rich in invertebrates upon which shorebirds feed. Only two other locations within Botany Bay exhibit this high invertebrate species diversity, Quibray Bay (Towra Point Nature Reserve) and Penrhyn Inlet.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources


Watch how the NSW Wader Study Group Shorebird Monitoring Program is working with OEH to help vulnerable shorebirds at Botany Bay.

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Sydney BasinPittwater Known Between Taren Point and Shell Point