Mount Lofty Ranges Bird Forum

  Using bird monitoring to guide ecological management across multiple spatial scales

  Thursday July 31st  - Special Guest Hugh Possinghamone.jpg

Speakers presented current research on the bird fauna of South Australia. This included the results and benefits of long term regional bird monitoring, habitat modelling at a patch and regional scale to guide habitat restoration efforts, and using bird populations to guide regional decision making. Bridging the gap between research and monitoring to policy-making and managing ecosystems was also be discussed.

 


 
 Mark Lethbridge questions session
 

 

Birds are conspicuous, diverse, exploit multiple niches in the environment and operate at different scales, from species that exist within one small patch for their entire life, to species that move across multiple landscapes. These attributes make them an ideal indicator of ecosystem function. Management decisions at multiple spatial scales can therefore be based upon the assessment and evaluation of a region's birds.

One example is the Mount Lofty Ranges bird fauna, which has been declining as a result of habitat clearance, degradation and fragmentation of native vegetation. With approximately 14% of pre-European vegetation remaining in the AMLR region, ecological management is necessary for sustainability of these endangered systems. But what guides these decisions? Herein lies the answer - and monitoring provides a useful tool... 

The results of monitoring studies provide invaluable tools for forming management decisions and increasing public awareness of, and support for, this and other biodiversity conservation issues. This includes not just site-level preferences, like habitat type and structure, but also landscape-level preferences like patch size and shape. The data can also be used as a benchmark for the success of habitat restoration and rehabilitation. Furthermore it can be used as "before" data in before-after control-impact experiments on the success of actions like fencing, revegetation, or threat abatement.

At this seminar, speakers presented current research on the bird fauna of South Australia. This included the results and benefits of long term regional bird monitoring, habitat modelling at a patch and regional scale to guide habitat restoration efforts, and using bird populations to guide regional decision making. Bridging the gap between research and monitoring to policy-making and managing ecosystems was also discussed. 

Managing regional natural resources for long-term sustainability is an over-arching goal of NRM Boards, landholders, industries, traditional owners, schools, community groups as well as federal, state and local governments. This seminar was invaluable to all involved in managing natural resources.

 

Speakers included: Hugh Possingham, University of Queensland; David Paton AM, University of Adelaide; Mark Lethbridge, Flinders University; Nigel Willoughby, Department of Environment and Heritage; Joel Allan, University of Adelaide; and Judit Szabo, University of Queensland.

   31 July 2008

Charles Hawker Conference Centre, University of Adelaide, Waite Road, Urrbrae

 

 

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