RFI: artificial watering points & impacts on birds

To: "" <>, "" <>
Subject: RFI: artificial watering points & impacts on birds
From: "Mules, Michael" <>
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 2013 05:24:38 +0000
Hi Martin,

I investigated the impact of artificial watering points on birds on Calperum 
Station in the Bookmark Biosphere Reserve for my honours thesis in '96-'97.  As 
far as I'm aware, a copy of my thesis is still in the Melbourne University 
Zoology Library.

Further work was done by (if I am remembering his name properly) Rhidian 
Harrington for his PhD in the adjacent Gluepot Reserve, leading to the closure 
of a number of waterpoints.  With the luxury of more time in the field, he was 
able to get a lot more detail and a better view of medium-term use than I was.

To summarise very briefly, I found no significant effect of closing waterpoints 
on overall species richness, on the overall avifaunal composition or the 
abundance of the 10 or so (I forget exactly, and can't remember where I put my 
copy of the thesis) species I gathered enough data on to analyse.  Bear in 
mind, data was gathered over two one-month field trips (September and 
February), we were limited to 4 control and 4 experimental (closed) waterholes, 
and the total number of 24 hour waterpoint watches I did (separate to gathering 
abundance and distribution data with distance from open and closed waterpoints) 
was only 3 each trip.

What I do remember is that the only obligate users of the waterpoints I saw 
(and the ones that were most closely correlated with proximity to the 
waterpoints) were the granivorous birds: Common Bronzewing and Crested Pigeon 
most notably.  On the days above 30 deg. honeyeaters also made use of the 
water, but there was no correlation between distance from the waterpoint and 
their distribution or abundance.  My biggest problem with gathering this data 
was the spread of waterpoints and dams on Calperum made it very hard to find 
areas that were more than 6km from the nearest water source.

I hope that helps,

Cheers, Mike
 on behalf of 
Sent: Friday, December 20, 2013 10:20 AM
Subject: RFI: artificial watering points & impacts on birds

A request for members.

I am trying to compile information on the impact of man-made watering points on 
birds and keen to hear or be advised on any relevant references etc with 
respect to dry country birds in particular.

I am aware that dams were fenced or removed at Gluepot in South Australia and 
understand a similar process has been undertaken at the Trust for Nature 
property at Neds Corner in Victoria.  The rationale and outcomes of this work 
is of interest.

cheers, Martin O'Brien


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