Fwd: Eastern Bristlebird translocation (update from David Bain)

Subject: Fwd: Eastern Bristlebird translocation (update from David Bain)
From: Charles Hunter <>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2007 17:54:57 +1100 (EST)
  Hi all,

  Please see below / attached an update on EBB translocation from David Bain.

  Charles Hunter
  Paddington, Sydney

David Bain <> wrote:
  Subject: Eastern Bristlebird translocation -BA
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2007 19:05:15 +1100
From: "David Bain" <>
To: <>
CC: <>,
"Jack Baker" <>,

    Charles Hunter,

  I am responding to an email you sent to Rob Whelan regarding an update on the 
translocation of eastern bristlebirds at Jervis Bay which he forwarded onto me.

  I have attached a brief overview of the project with some basic survey 
results. Hope this is of use to you and Birds Australia.


    David Bain
  Eco Logical Australia Pty Ltd

  Phone: (02) 49815424
  Fax: (02) 49815615

  3/57 Donald St, PO Box 603
  Nelson Bay, NSW 2315

  Saving the endangered Eastern Bristlebird: A trial reintroduction
  David Bain
  12th February 2007
  The Eastern Bristlebird Dasyornis brachypterus is a prime candidate for 
endangered species translocation. There is probably fewer than 2000 
bristlebirds remaining in isolated populations throughout its range, with some 
populations on the brink of extinction. The current distribution of the 
bristlebird is fragmented and owing to the species poor dispersal abilities, 
the colonisation of new areas of habitat is unlikely. This trial reintroduction 
of the bristlebird has been undertaken to help re-establish the species in part 
of its former range and to reduce the impact of fire to the species, which is 
seen as one of the major threats facing the bristlebird.

  The aims for the reintroduction were to relocate bristlebirds across Jervis 
Bay from Bherwerre Peninsula to Beecroft Peninsula. Incorporated within this 
framework were two investigations, the first looking at the post release 
behaviour of translocated bristlebirds and their long-term survival and 
reproduction, the second looking at the effects of the reintroduction on the 
source population.

  Released individuals
  Overall the translocation of bristlebirds across Jervis Bay was a success. 
Over the three years of this project, 50 bristlebirds have been released on 
Beecroft Peninsula from 2003 -2005. Radio-tracking of released individuals has 
showed that they settled into the habitat quickly. Within days after the first 
release in 2003 bristlebirds were heard calling in the release environment and 
bristlebirds were still recorded calling in October 2006, 18 months after the 
final translocation in 2005. Released bristlebirds were radio-tracked after 
release and have been shown to have settled in the habitat within that period. 
Surveys of translocated individuals were carried out each year in spring time, 
six months after the end of the radio-tracking period.

  Three transects were annually surveyed and combined with some call playback 
work to estimate the number of bristlebirds on Beecroft Peninsula (Table 1). In 
2005 two bristlebirds were observed without bands, indicating that breeding had 
taken place. In the most recent surveys no birds were observed close enough to 
examine whether or not they were banded. During the surveys many bristlebirds 
were heard calling, including some dueting with other bristlebirds.

Table 1: Total number of EBBs observed during surveys on Beecroft Peninsula
  (# released)
    Total observed on Beecroft
      2003 (15)
      2004 (20)
      2005 (15)

   The drop in the total number of bristlebirds observed may reflect the fact 
that the call playback surveys this year were restricted by time constraints 
and weather, resulting in the surveys being carried out in windy weather in the 
late morning. This was also the first year of surveys without a release of 

  Conversely, the drop in the number observed may be an indication that the 
population is under stress. Problems associated with surveying this cryptic 
species in the dense vegetation that it prefers, makes the detection of changes 
in the reintroduced population difficult. This was the first year of monitoring 
without an associated release of bristlebirds earlier in the year. 
Consequently, the results from surveys planned for October 2007 will be 
critical in understanding the ongoing condition of the reintroduced Beecroft 

  Source population
  In total 51 bristlebirds were caught from Bherwerre Peninsula, 46 from Jervis 
Bay National Park and 5 from Booderee National Park. Only 50 were translocated 
as one bristlebird died during banding in the first year. The impact of this 
removal seems to have been minimal on the source population at this stage. 
There have been small fluctuations in bristlebird numbers in the immediate 
source area, although these fluctuations have been less than the numbers of 
bristlebird removed and have not been significantly different from the control 

  Although the full results have not been presented here, these results 
indicate the level of preliminary success seen in this trial reintroduction. 
Bristlebirds were caught, processed, transported and released successfully. 
Bristlebirds have been continually calling in the release environment and are 
known to be interacting together. Monitoring in the release site into the 
future will help to determine how successful the project really has been. In 
the source population, monitoring has shown that the removals have not caused 
any significant impacts to the local Bherwerre Peninsula population.
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