Connecting Country launched their Woodland Birds Program in 2010, which was a large scale funded program that went for nearly a decade. It included a mix of on-ground habitat rehabilitation, bird surveys and community bird-related events.
Long term bird monitoring
Connecting Country carried out regular surveys of woodland birds to monitor avian changes in the regional environment for nearly a decade. Survey sites are scattered across the Mount Alexander shire and surrounds in both public and private land, and are located in three kinds of habitats:
- ‘reference’ sites located in typical forest/woodland vegetation of good quality in the region.
- ‘restoration’ sites that 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 are 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 have been conducted during winter and spring since 2010. For a summary of the results see here
BirdLife and Connecting Country
The past 12 months or so has seen closer ties established between BirdLife Australia and Connecting Country. Connecting Country is now an affiliate group of BirdLife, meaning we have signed a partnership agreement that sets out the way we share data, and promote each other’s activities.
One of their staff affectionately described us as BirdLife’s first ‘non-birding’ affiliate group!’ This is in reference to the fact that we are a community organisation with other focuses besides birds, such as our extensive on-ground works program, education program and focus on other taxa such as Brush-tailed Phascogales and Yellow Box.
Citizen science Monitoring program: The next chapter: Get involved.
Connecting Country are moving 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. The idea behind the citizen science bird monitoring is to build the capacity of the community to come up with research questions and implement the monitoring to gather the data for the research. Connecting Country will be facilitating this program and ensuring the science is the most useful and effective methodology and that the data is most useful for conservation purposes.
The Bird Monitoring page on this website has more information on this program – and how to get involved in the Community Bird Monitoring.