The Tasmanian Land Conservancy's Bird Conservation Fund combines evidence based research with direct management actions ensuring effective and long-term conservation for our birds for generations to come.
The presence and patterns of birds in the environment has long helped inform our understanding of the landscape. Whether it be migratory shorebirds, seabirds, raptors or woodland birds, the presence or absence of certain species can tell us so much about the health of our environment. Research shows that many bird species are declining across Australia, and Tasmania is no exception. These declines are being recorded in even our most common and widespread species due to threats like habitat loss, invasive pests and climate change (State of Australia’s Birds Report, 2015).
The Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC) has an impressive record of protecting critical habitats for Tasmania’s bird life, especially endemic and declining species. Through the creation of reserves like Egg Islands, Long Point, Lutregala Marsh and The Big Punchbowl we are protecting habitat for threatened species like the Australasian bittern, swift parrot and breeding shorebirds. At Recherché Bay, The Big Punchbowl and the Five Rivers Reserve we manage seven active eagle nests and habitat for forest species like masked owl and grey goshawk. Our more recent protection of the Panatana Reserve as a nature bank for bird diversity recognises the importance of protecting ecologically intact bird communities while they still exist.
“How often we hear that a species is ‘common and widespread’ as though it is unimportant or has no value. But what we call common today was probably far more common fifty years ago; our benchmark has shifted and so have our birds.” - Dr Sally Bryant
The TLC is proud to support bird conservation in many ways. For one of our flagship species, the endangered forty-spotted pardalote, we are securing breeding colonies on private land through facilitating conservation covenants, contributing to the national recovery program and supporting extension surveys and other vital research that links science to on ground conservation actions e.g. revegetation, installing nest boxes and establishing reserves. But it’s time to do more and the TLC is stepping up.
The TLC Foundation was established in 2009 to ensure our reserves are protected in perpetuity and managed effectively. Now, the Bird Conservation Fund, which sits within the TLC Foundation, has been created to support bird conservation initiatives on our reserves, its benefits to be realised across Tasmania. We must better understand bird populations if we are to reverse current trajectories, and to do so we need a new approach. Using new methods and technologies, and with the support of citizen scientists, our vision is to collect and interpret Tasmania’s birdsong. To do this we need your support.
Contributions to the Bird Conservation Fund will provide much needed resources for the installation of acoustic monitors across our reserves, along with the development of new computer software that analyzes these calls. Until these automated techniques are in place we are reliant on manually identifying bird calls in the field which is time-consuming and reliant on bird experts - both of which are costly and in short supply! The State of Australia’s Birds Report (2015) calls for more rigorous monitoring if we are to verify bird trends in Tasmania. Traditional methods won’t be enough to provide the breadth of information to understand species condition and to subsequently adapt land management practices (e.g. ecological burning, weed control, restoration activities and human disturbance/visitation) to achieve effective bird conservation. With smart technology and by collaborating with others, we can fill this information gap.
The Bird Conservation Fund combines evidence based research with direct management actions ensuring effective and long-term conservation for our birds for generations to come.
Other contributing Funds and Individuals
- Sally Bryant (Bryant Bird Fund)
- Chris and Gina Grubb (Bird Conservation Fund)
- Jo Naylor (Naylor Bird Fund)
- Tim Gearing (George Gearing Bird Fund)
- TLC Bird Conservation Fund
- Tania Stadler (T Stadler Fund)
Banner photograph: Male scarlet robin by Sarah Lloyd