About the Staff and Our Work
Mandy is the newest arrival and comes to us from Queensland with a background in entomology and invasive species. She has the worrying tendency to lie face down on the mud flats, possibly trialing the health benefits of full body immersion in the benthos rich mud (if Echo Beach Resort does it, it must work, right?) and her mysterious nighttime walks to find creepy crawlies make the staff wonder what they would find if they entered the Warden’s Residence. Will every available surface be covered in insects by the end of the year?
Weird in a fun way, her parents raised her in such a freezing climate (Melbourne) that her body now cannot tolerate temperatures below 26C. Went to South Africa hoping to get a non-fatal wound from a large predator to show off to her friends but unfortunately escaped unscathed. Can identify many birds but will never be a Twitcher, not ever. Other interests include running along the beach, making pop culture references that Ric will never understand, and cooing at the cutie wooty baby waby birds and mammals.
The most scientifically minded of the BBO crew, Jutta’s claim to fame was to devise a study to investigate the effects of diving head first off a porch in to a barbeque and subsequently test the stability of the Warden’s house using her head. The house passed her safety inspection and the paper is currently under peer review. Jutta is the in-house expert on shorebirds and will happily spread her knowledge. A Native of Germany but a resident of the world, Jutta’s migration habits closely resemble those of the shorebirds she studies. A wing moult analysis conducted on her leads to no conclusive results due to her youthful feather condition, and she appears to be of 20+ age.
A dedicated birder, he lived on a small island off Wales for a few years and hung out with birds for so long that he has forgotten how to speak to humans. His attempts at speaking produce a strange sounding accent that he picked up from the birds. He can sometimes be tempted out of his cage (room) by broccoli and pasta. Thinks he knows the most birds out of all the BBO crew and can identify most by sight and sound. Other interests include marathon running, genetics and using the sun to create odd tan lines.
THERE IS no more inspiring story in the world of nature than that of shorebird migration. The massive feats of endurance, forebearance against diversity and the amazing array of adaptations which these birds exhibit all remind us of the magnificence of life on this planet and, at times, its fragility.
Apart from their beauty and amazing life stories, as true “global citizens” migratory shorebirds can tell us much about the state of our world: they are indeed ideal “sentinels for planetary health”.
There are many threats to the continued existance of these birds with more than 70% of shorebird species being classified as threatened or endangered. The threatening processes are:
- climate change
- land reclamation
- river damming
- disturbance/urban encroachment
Their continued existance very much lies in the hands of mankind.
Without stringent study of these birds and the spreading of this knowledge, we will not be able to counter the forces stacked against them. The result of this could be the loss of many members of this assemblage of birds which, according to the fossil record, have graced our planet for more than 40 million years.
By becoming a supporter of the Broome Bird Observatory, you can be part of the vital efforts to conserve these birds and their habitats.