Redlanders came out on Saturday morning at GJ Walter Park, Cleveland, to welcome back migratory birds to the Toondah Harbour wetlands.
They celebrated the signing 25 years ago of the international Ramsar agreement with a big birthday cake.
The agreement, named after the Iranian city in which it was signed, helps protect the Moreton Bay wetlands and other important sites around the world.
Function co-organiser Kathy Petrik said the proposed $1.3 billion Walker Corp development of 3600 units for the Toondah Harbour would house more than 6300 people.
“It is being proposed on 54 hectares of reclaimed land in Toondah Harbour,” she said.
In one of the great animal world migrations, some of the migratory birds fly about 13,000 kilometres from roosting sites in places like Alaska, Mongolia and Siberia to return to their Moreton Bay feeding sites.
The Environment Department says about 40,000 shorebirds of 34 species migrate to Moreton Bay.
Some waders – weighing as little as 30 grams – can fly 25,000 kilometres annually.
In an extraordinary feat, some crack along at more than 60km/hr, flying more than 6000 kilometres non-stop.
In the process they can lose up to 40 per cent of their body weight which is why protection of their feeding grounds is so important.
If they cannot refuel sufficiently here, they risk dying on the return flight to their northern hemisphere breeding grounds.