Date of Award

1998

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Prof Harry Recher

Abstract

Kings Park is a large urban park in the centre of Perth with extensive areas of semi-natural bushland. The park is an important refuge for birds in the metropolitan area but is losing species through habitat disturbance. Understanding the way in which birds are related to their habitat helps to understand the effect of habitat disturbance on the bird community. The aim of this project was to generate guidelines which will aid in the management and conservation of birds in the park, through an understanding of the relationship of the birds to their habitat. The avifauna and various habitat factors were sampled at selected points along the Mt Eliza escarpment and the Serventy and Recher transect in Kings Park. Notable differences in the abundance and composition of birds were found between the two study areas. Areas classified as disturbed on the Mt Eliza escarpment had a differing composition of bird species to areas classified as non-disturbed. Broad relationships were found to exist between patterns of the abundance and composition of the bird community and patterns in the habitat. The results suggest that continued disturbance to the habitat of Kings Park will lead to an altered composition of the bird community, including a loss of further species. To conserve the existing species, careful management is required to minimise disturbance and restore degraded areas. Specific management guidelines that resulted from this study include maximising habitat diversity, minimising the spread of weeds, reducing weed cover, and reversing the decline of eucalypts within the park. Further study is necessary for the conservation of birds that are in decline or are rare in the park. The individual habitat factors and disturbance agents also need to be examined.

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