Carla Archibald | Conservation Science. Identifying environmental preservation & sustainability for wildlife Australia
Conservation Science — Research, Policy & Practice
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Browse through various articles and news published by me to find out what I’ve been up to, more about my research in conservation science, and the impacts on ecosystems and biodiversities in wildlife. Information on preservation, environment, wildlife, natural resources, sustainability, protection, nature and more.

 

To bird, or not to bird? That is the question.

To bird, or not to bird? That is the question.

Hi everyone, this is my first post so I though I would talk about something I am familiar with.

I have been bird banding in Brisbane, Australia for three years now with a small team that regularly visits 5 sites around the area. Bird banding is a survey technique that has been used around the world and can be utilized for different purposes depending on the research objectives and whether or not the question can be achieved by other non-invasive surveying methods (counts).

Azure Kingfisher (Alcedo azurea)

Azure Kingfisher (Alcedo azurea)

Mist nets are used as a means of trapping as they can be strung up over a set distance intersecting predicted flight paths of birds to increase the rate at which the net will catch. Whilst mist netting may seem easy, it is very important that the nets are maintained and set to the highest standard to ensure the highest welfare for the animals. Before beginning a netting session, it is also advisable to survey the area for any predators and to take into account the weather and surrounding factors that should pose a threat to birds in the net. All of these factors should be taken into consideration when deciding to commence banding and the time frame net rounds are to be conducted (although this is a dynamic process that should be reassessed regularly throughout the session).

Yellow-faced Honeyeater

Yellow-faced Honeyeater

Many forms of data can be recorded when processing birds. Bird banding data is predominantly used to assess bird populations though mark recapture as animals are fitted with an ID ring. Physiological data can be collected by assessing body dimensions (wing length, tail length, head length, clumen and tarsus), assessing the body condition, taking blood samples, determining age and sex.

Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis)

Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis)

No matter if the research objectives are broad or specific bird banding can produce a valuable data set that can help us further understand basic ecological processes that we can not measure in any other way.