The Mount Alexander region is home to a number of special woodland birds. Connecting Country has embraced the use of birds, and woodland birds in particular, as a focal species for landscape restoration. They are an ideal group for a number of reasons:
- Different species tend to use different habitats – and their presence or absence may act as indicators of habitat type and quality
- Woodland birds are classified as Threatened: the Victorian Temperate Woodland Bird Community
- BirdLife Australia has been harnessing the enthusiasm and skill of citizen scientists with great success for decades
We have a number of projects that strive to ensure that woodland birds are flourishing in the Mount Alexander region now and in the future. Our projects involve restoring bird habitat in the region (click here and here), educating the community about woodland birds and other wildlife (click here), and monitoring (click here).
Long term bird monitoring
Connecting Country carried out regular surveys of woodland birds to monitor avian changes in the region between 2010 and 2017. Fifty survey sites, scattered across five sub-regions in the Mount Alexander shire and surrounds, were located in three kinds of habitats:
- ‘reference’ sites in typical forest/woodland vegetation of good quality in the region
- ‘restoration’ sites are located in areas where management actions are planned or being undertaken
- ‘modified’ sites such as open farmland or where there are only a few scattered trees
Bird surveys were conducted using a standard technique (2 hectare, 20 minute survey) used by other studies in the Box-Ironbark/Woodlands region and by Birdlife Australia. Surveys were conducted during winter and spring since 2010.
We now have a rare example of a well-designed, long-term monitoring program that tells us how our woodland birds are faring in the region through time, and provides valuable information on how revegetation affects our woodland birds.
Bird monitoring: the next chapter
In 2018, Connecting Country began the move to a community-based bird monitoring program, where members of the public, as volunteers, can get out and about the shire and start looking for a number of important bird species. From now on, instead of in-house monitoring, we’ll be relying on experienced ‘citizen scientists’, such as you, to conduct bird surveys with support from Connecting Country. We also work closely with BirdLife Castlemaine District. Connecting Country is an affiliate group of BirdLife Australia, which means we share all our data with BirdLife.
Whether you are a beginning or experienced birdwatcher, we hope that you will enjoy contributing your sightings to Connecting Country and BirdLife Australia.
- To get involved in our citizen science bird monitoring program, please contact Jess Lawton, Monitoring Coordinator.
- Phone: 03 5472 1594
- Email: email@example.com