Why Birds?

Research has established that the abundance and diversity of bird communities can be used as an effective indicator of ecosystem health - - click here to open PDF (ref. Chambers, S 2008)

We are using birds as environmental indicators for this project because:

  • Birds are easier than other fauna to detect and observe
  • Birds are widely distributed and occupy a broad range of habitat types
  • We know a lot about bird distribution, biology, ecology and life history (compared to other fauna species)
  • Birds are sensitive to changes in the environment and environmental contaminants
  • Many bird species pollinate or disperse the seeds of plants, playing a critical role in the maintenance of natural ecosystems

As the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative stepping-stones and conservation corridors are established it is important to monitor the effectiveness of revegetation works and changes in connectivity. This project involves establishing monitoring points across the Hunter Valley, and with the assistance of our local community including local landholders, community groups and birdwatchers, monitoring bird populations across the area.

The project will provide the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative with information about the bird communities, the quality of habitat for birds and connectivity across the landscape. The initial baseline surveys provide information about the current health of ecosystems and in the longer term will provide information about the success of protecting and enhancing habitat and habitat corridors.

The Brown Treecreeper is dependant on healthy, intact, connected woodland for its survival. It has been found that birds will not fly more than 100m between patches. Photo Chris Tzaros.