The status and conservation of shorebird habitat in South-east Tasmania
AbstractCensus data from 11 sites of shorebird habitat in South-east Tasmania from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s were examined qualitatively and by using analysis of variance techniques. The aim was to establish whether the numbers of shorebirds using these sites as feeding, breeding and roosting habitat had changed over that time period, and to establish whether a relationship existed between observed changes in numbers and habitat alteration and loss at the sites. Of the eight sites monitored intensively during both the 1960s and 1980s sampling periods, the abundance of shorebirds decreased at three sites (Lauderdale, Orielton Lagoon and Sorell), no change in abundance was recorded at two sites (Clear Lagoon and Barilla Bay), and three sites (Pipeclay Lagoon, Calverts Lagoon and South Arm Neck) experienced an increase in shorebird abundance. At those same eight sites, the number of species present decreased at five sites (Lauderdale, Clear Lagoon, South Arm Neck, Sorell and Barilla Bay) between the 1960s and the 1980s, no change in species richness was recorded at two sites (Pipeclay Lagoon and Orielton Lagoon), and one site (Calverts Lagoon) experienced an increase in species numbers. No clear trends were evident at the remaining three sites. The reasons for the changes in shorebird numbers at the sites were (1) a shift in site preference and the pattern of site utilization, and (2) a decline in the abundance of some species utilizing the sites. It is highly likely that these changes were related to changes in habitat, although a direct cause and effect relationship could not be proved. Urban pressure was identified as the primary cause of degradation at the sites. The over-riding management priority was identified as the conservation of the major sites of feeding, breeding and roosting habitat for shorebirds. Secondary priorities included the development of management plans and appropriate levels of management for each site, establishment of wetland conservation policies by the state and local governments, community education of wetland values, involvement of the Bird Observers' Association of Tasmania in an advisory capacity in planning for wetland areas, and the undertaking of ecological research at the sites. The protective reservation of shorebird habitat at Pittwater and South Arm Neck is urgently required.
Parr, LB (1988) The status and conservation of shorebird habitat in South-east Tasmania. Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.