Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) Recovery Plan 2001-2005

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Swift Parrot Recovery Team (2001)
Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment
ISBN 0 7246 6283 9

Recovery Actions (continued)

Action 4. Population and Habitat Monitoring

Action 4a. Population monitoring

Aims

To undertake annual monitoring of the breeding population using a repeatable method.

Justification

A repeatable monitoring method is necessary to assess population trends which will provide an ongoing measure to assess the progress of the recovery program.

Methods

Population surveys are carried out in eastern Tasmania in spring, when the population is centred on the east coast. Seventy-three 1 hectare permanent plots have been established in grassy blue gum forest, which is the primary foraging habitat in eastern Tasmania. A stationary observer census is used to assess population density at each site. These sites were selected and surveyed for the first time in spring 1999. It is anticipated that revisits to each site using a repeatable census method during the breeding months when the population is resident will uncover patterns in overall density that are not obtainable at other times of the year when swift parrots are more highly dispersed.

Responsibilities

Administration: DPIWE (Hobart). Fieldwork: DPIWE (Hobart)

Costs ($1000s)

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Total
18.0 18.0 18.0 20.0 20.0 94.0

Action 4b. Winter Surveys

Aims

To monitor distribution and habitat use on the mainland. To increase interest and awareness within the community of the recovery program by participation in searches. To monitor use at known sites and find 'new' sites and habitats.

Justification

The highly mobile and nomadic nature of the swift parrot population makes it difficult for project officers and agency staff to monitor distribution and habitat use on the mainland. The winter surveys provide an opportunity to obtain a broad overview of mainland distribution and also to monitor the use of sites and habitats. The winter surveys are also invaluable in creating interest in the species and its recovery.

Methods

The winter surveys are carried out as a joint project with the Regent Honeyeater Recovery program. Volunteers are called for in various media, and existing volunteers are updated on activities. The volunteers are sent survey forms and offered advice on potentially suitable sites and habitats. The results are sent to the Swift Parrot Project Officer and the Regent Honeyeater Recovery co-ordinator by return mail or electronically. The results are collated and the data used to support the implementation of Actions 1a, 2a and 2b. Volunteers receive feedback from the surveys through the newsletter. The winter surveys will aim to increase volunteer coverage in eastern Victoria, northern and coastal New South Wales and south east Queensland.

Responsibilities

Administration: NRE (Bendigo), NPWS (Queanbeyan), BA. Fieldwork: volunteers

Costs ($1000s)

Source
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Total
Other 16.0 16.0 16.0 18.0 18.0 84.0
VOL 62.0 62.0 62.0 64.0 64.0 314.0
Total 78.0 78.0 78.0 82.0 82.0 398.0

Action 4c. Monitoring the effectiveness of management prescriptions in conserving habitat in production forests

Aim

To monitor the effectiveness of management prescriptions in conserving breeding and foraging habitat in production forests.

Justification

Monitoring of the effectiveness of management prescriptions is the most appropriate means of determining whether habitat in production forests is being protected and enhanced. The adaptive management cycle depends on the identification of habitat, the implementation of protective measures and the monitoring of those measures over time to assess whether they are effective in protecting and enhancing habitat. Monitoring of forest prescriptions has already been undertaken in Tasmania and has resulted in the identification of problems in the application of prescriptions. Measures have been undertaken to improve the prescriptions and to increase the effectiveness of them in retaining and protecting habitat. These modified prescriptions will have to be reviewed in the future to assess whether they have successfully addressed the problems raised in first review.

Methods

A retrospective study of forest operations that have been conducted under prescription will be undertaken in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Coupes will be re-visited and assessed for habitat after timber harvesting and a comparison made with habitat before harvesting to determine whether the quantity and quality of habitat is being maintained. The retained habitat will be monitored for use by swift parrots. Information about habitat present in a coupe prior to harvesting will be compiled from previous habitat surveys, forest management plans and retained forest. The results of the review will be incorporated into management prescriptions for the swift parrot in production forests. Funds are required for a project officer, vehicle hire, travel allowance and data acquisition.

Responsibilities

Administration: NRE (Bendigo), NPWS (Queanbeyan), DPIWE (Hobart), FPB (Hobart). Fieldwork: NRE (Bendigo), NPWS (Queanbeyan), DPIWE (Hobart), FPB (Hobart)

Costs ($1000s)

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
Total
0.0 0.0 0.0 30.0 0.0 30.0