Ground-based survey methods both overestimate and underestimate the abundance of suitable tree-cavities for the endangered Swift Parrot

Stojanovic, Dejan, Webb, Matthew, Roshier, David, Saunders, Debra and Heinsohn, Robert 2012, Ground-based survey methods both overestimate and underestimate the abundance of suitable tree-cavities for the endangered Swift Parrot, Emu, vol. 112, no. 4, pp. 350-356.

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Title Ground-based survey methods both overestimate and underestimate the abundance of suitable tree-cavities for the endangered Swift Parrot
Author(s) Stojanovic, Dejan
Webb, Matthew
Roshier, David
Saunders, Debra
Heinsohn, Robert
Journal name Emu
Volume number 112
Issue number 4
Start page 350
End page 356
Total pages 7
Publisher CISRO Publishing
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2012
ISSN 0158-4197
1448-5540
Keyword(s) cavity availability
forestry
nest selection
survey error
tree-hollow
Summary Most cavity-dependent species select tree-cavities with a narrow range of characteristics so that only a small subset of available cavities may be suitable for any species. Most surveys for tree-cavities are done from the ground using binoculars to reduce effort, but this technique is prone to error. These errors are likely to contribute to the loss of the cavity resource when used to inform conservation efforts for cavity-dependent species. The Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) is an endangered migratory bird threatened by ongoing removal of cavity-bearing trees by production forestry. We climbed trees with cavities used for nesting by Swift Parrots and determined that they prefer cavities with small entrances, deep chambers and wide floors. Such cavities are rare and occur in large trees that support higher than average numbers of tree-cavities. Importantly, cavities used by Swift Parrots were also likely to be both overestimated and underestimated using ground-based surveys, and without calibration by climbing, the size and direction of survey error could not be determined. We conclude that the most effective way to gain detailed information about the characteristics and abundance of tree-cavities is to climb a representative sample of trees to calibrate ground-based methods for a specific ecosystem.
Language eng
Field of Research 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30051568

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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