Date of Award

2003

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (Hons.)

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science.

First Advisor

Professor H.F. Recher

Abstract

The birds of grazed paddocks, early revegetation (less than three years in age), three to seven year old revegetation, older revegetation (greater than seven years in age) and remnant vegetation were surveyed over the course of one year to determine whether revegetation recovers avian biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. Habitat features that were useful to the birds, and those that were missing from revegetation, were identified in order to broaden the knowledge base of faunal use of farmland revegetation, and aid in the devising of successful revegetation strategies. Notable differences in the abundance and composition of birds were found between the five vegetation classes studied. The bird communities advanced from paddock sites through to remnant areas, with a pattern of increasing species richness and abundance. Differences were found in the guild structure and microhabitat utilisation by birds of the five vegetation classes. The birds recorded in paddocks and early revegetation were characteristic of open areas. As the revegetation advanced, species with more specific requirements became apparent. However, remnant vegetation attracted a suite of species not recorded in the other vegetation classes. Many species that are known to have declined in range and/or abundance were recorded utilising revegetation in this study. These results indicate that revegetation is a valuable resource for declining species. Although it is likely that some of these species were not resident in planted sites, revegetation provides foraging habitats and thus enlarges the food resources available to many birds in agricultural landscapes. Specific recommendations for future revegetation projects that resulted from this study include the planting of understorey shrubs, inclusion of nest boxes and dead wood (such as logs) into revegetation sites and the integration of remnant vegetation into future plantings.

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