Re: Plains Wanderer Numbers

To: "Nigel Sterpin" <>
Subject: Re: Plains Wanderer Numbers
From: (Australian Ornithological Services P.L.)
Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 17:41:16 GMT

Sorry it has taken a while to reply to your letter to birding-aus.
Plainswanderers numbers are down at present but have probably have been
down to this level once or twice over the last twenty years. In the
summer/autumn of 98 the plains country of the Riverina was probably the
barest it has been  since the drought year of 1967. However,
Plainswanderers are very resilient and are well adapted to coping with
drought. They have the ability to build their numbers up quickly following
the breaking of a drought by laying 4 eggs and having multiple clutches
over an extended period if conditions are suitable. They have been
successfully breeding this spring/summer however it will take several years
for the species to recolonise its former range in the Riverina, given
favorable breeding conditions.

While Plainswanderers can handle droughts and sheep grazing their major
threat  is irrigation development from underground bores. This practice has
become widespread on the Riverine Plain with wool prices depressed over the
last few years.


Philip Maher

>Considering that there has been drought over the last few years, my hunch
>is that the numbers of this bird may have crashed. Is this correct?
>Nigel Sterpin

Australian Ornithological Services P/L
P.O. Box 385
South Yarra 3141  Victoria Australia
Tel/fax (61 3) 98204223

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