Bird Monitoring & Management
Last year Candice provided environmental monitoring support to transmission line maintenance projects in northern Queensland. This included bird watching, bird species identification, observation of breeding places and active management of birds’ nests. Active management of birds’ nests was conducted as per the Damage Mitigation Permit, Impact Management Plan for Tampering with Animal Breeding Places and Species Management Plan for the project. Any nest removals were performed under the guidance of qualified personnel and all live young were taken to Wildlife Carers to ensure the best chance of survival (see previous Blog Post for success stories).
Over the summer, Candice took the opportunity to continue her passion for ecology as a tutor with the Bond University for the Environmental Field Analysis of Rainforest and Coastal Regions program.
During this program, Candice assisted international university students with local ecology studies on North Stradbroke Island. This included bird monitoring through species identification and awareness of bird interactions with the local environment. As well as introducing students to international treaties aimed at helping to protect migratory shore birds and their coastal habitats.
Student groups were provided with the opportunity to select a local habitat and conduct bird species counts. Habitat type, habitat use and bird behaviour were recorded. Urban coastal areas were sampled with differences in local microhabitats observed. Ongoing bird monitoring and species identification were noted throughout the day trips around the island. Students presented their findings at the field trip completion and were graded upon the knowledge they had gained.
A special bird of note observed during the study was the Eastern Curlew (Numenis (Numenis) madagascariensis), a critically endangered bird that migrates north from Australia to China and Southern Russia to breed annually.
Candice continued to develop her species identification and observation skills during the fieldwork. As well as be part of these ongoing studies which provide important data for the global networks which protect migratory birds and their known habitats. She continues to develop her skills in Mackay as an active member of the Birdlife Mackay community group.