Dragonfly Environmental

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Study: Australian Wetland Birds Flee Farther From Walkers Than Canoes

birdFor this study, published in the journal Wetlands Ecology and Management, the researchers approached a variety of duck, grebe, egret, ibis and other bird species in wetlands along the the Darr and Thompson rivers until the birds fled. Using a laser rangefinder, they recorded how far away they were from the birds when they took off, known as the starting distance, and how far the birds flew.
Birds spooked by canoes flew an average of 108 feet, while those set off by walkers flew an average of 156 feet. The results varied depending on species, with the Pacific black duck having the greatest average escape distance at 236 feet from canoes and 354 feet from walkers. White-plumed honeyeaters, on the other hand, flew an average of just 23 feet from canoes and 55 feet from walkers. The Australian darter and intermediate egret both bucked the trend, fleeing farther from canoes than walkers.

Those two species aside, the trend makes sense. The distance of escape flights cane influenced by the speed, noise and shape of the intruder, according to the study. “Most (unmotorised) canoes are slow, quiet, used by non-consumptive recreationists (some are used by hunters), and presumably represent little risk to birds,” the authors write.

If wildlife managers were to use data gathered in this study as a guideline to restrict access and protect the birds, the study would recommend a set-back distance of around 300 feet. But that is “wider than most waterbodies in the study area,” according to the study area, suggesting that some disturbance from boats may be inevitable.

Click here to read more…

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Ecological Consultants Australia

Mia Dalby-Ball of Ecological Consultants Australia presented at the “Future Directions for Coastal, Ocean and Port Management in NSW” Seminar put on by Engineers Australia – Sydney Branch and specifically by the NSW COPEP Committee.  The ½ day seminar was organised by Dr Kate Panayotou Principal Environmental Scientist  Coastal Management and Stakeholder Engagement GHD SYDNEY

Presentations were on a range of topics allowing the audience an opportunity to understand the latest and future directions in our coast, ocean and port industry.

Mia presented on Incorporating Ecological Outcomes into Coastal, Port and Ocean Infrastructure.

It was an terrific day and we have received very positive feedback about the range of presentations, that allowed the audience to gain a real feeling of what are some of the real and tangible future directions in our industry.

People walked away armed with new information, thoughts, innovations and most importantly a feeling that although the future in our industry may be challenging, it is exciting, possible, within our reach and up to us. Thank you Dr Kate Panayotou Principal Environmental Scientist  Coastal Management and Stakeholder Engagement GHD SYDNEY

All the Best

Mia Dalby-Ball


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Returning Habitat

Thirty nine nest boxes were installed at the NRMA holiday park at Umina.

Four owl/galah, 10 possum and 25 micro-bat boxes.

With great feedback from residents and park users.  People came up and said wow and that’s so good and should happen in more places etc.  Most were visiting the park including people from Tamworth, Cains, Victoria plus a very happy neighbouring resident also came to say how good it was.  Plus over 150 locally native trees are being planted on the site.

Installing boxes for micro-bats DFE

Installing boxes for micro-bats DFE

Owl /Galah box  DFE

Owl /Galah box DFE

Attaching supports to boxes DFE

Attaching supports to boxes DFE

Cherry picker in use for installation DFE

Cherry picker in use for installation DFE