Vale Dr Clive Minton

We are immensely saddened by the passing of Dr Clive Minton, who was killed in a car crash on 06/11/2019 at Dunkeld in Victoria, Australia.

Clive trained as a metallurgist but is best known for his work with waders. Clive Minton has been described as a father figure in global wader studies. His early wader studies were in England with the Wash Wader Ringing Group (founded in 1959). Early catches of waders used rocket nets, but soon the group developed the cannon net – their first catch being in 1967. Clive moved to Australia in 1978 where he introduced cannon netting and played key roles in the Victorian Wader Study Group and the Australasian Wader Studies Groups (formed 1981), as well as the Royal Australasian Ornithologists’ Union.

Clive has been one of the great movers and shakers of shorebird research and colour flagging in the East Asian – Australasian Flyway and in other flyways over the last many decades. Clive was the key initiator of the North-west Australia Shorebird Expeditions. This field work dramatically increased knowledge of the importance of Roebuck Bay and Eighty Mile Beach as key non-breeding habitat of many species of migratory shorebirds. This work has continued annually or biannually for over 35 years and involved many people for Asia and Europe. It provided inspiration to young shorebird conservationists in Australasia and from across the EAAF. It has led to the development of the largest morphometric and movement data set for migratory shorebirds in the Flyway. This work also led to the establishment of Broome Bird Observatory and this continues to be a legacy to the passion Clive had for migratory shorebirds.

Clive’s work was recognised by a number of awards, including the BirdLife Australia’s John Hobbs Medal for outstanding contributions to ornithology as an amateur, and the Linnaean Society of New York’s Eiesenmann Medal for ornithological excellence and encouragement of amateur efforts in ornithology. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for ‘services to ornithology, particularly the study of migratory wading birds in Australia.

A memorial service to commemorate Clive’s life and achievements will take place sometime later in the year. More information will be circulated once arrangements have been made.