Up to 27,000 migratory and resident shorebirds visit the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary area each year. They flock to the top end of the Gulf, known as the "Gulf St Vincent Important Bird Area". The area qualified to be named an IBA by Bird Life International because of the internationally significant number of the birds it supports. There are more than 1% of the world's population of black-faced cormorants, red-necked stints, sharp-tailed sandpipers, banded stilts, red-capped plovers, sooty and pied oystercatchers and silver gulls.
The new National Park is in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) zone - a bird migratory flight path that is used by more than 5 million birds a year. Of those, there are 27,000 birds which call Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary their home. There are many of the migratory birds who come from as far away as Alaska and Siberia. Some birds can pass through as many as 22 countries before they reach our shores. Among the species of birds are several that are listed as threatened and critically endangered. The distances they travel are staggering and are a mammoth effort!
The southern entrance to the Sanctuary is located in St Kilda on the foreshore. St Kilda is a quick 30-minute drive from the Adelaide CBD. The northern access point to the National Park is at Thompsons Beach and entry is free.
The National Park is sure to attract a lot of attention with bird watchers and nature lovers. There will definitely be a rise in the number of tourists - both national and international, who will want to spend time in this park which is literally minutes away from suburban Adelaide. To see a lot of these bird species in their native habitats, there'd normally be very long drives and treks to them.
The potential for nature-based tourism means new jobs and a boost to local economies. Combine that with a safe place for the bird to migrate to and it's a win-win situation.
Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary National Park — Winaityinaityi Pangkara