Erin Bok is exploring the genetics of white gum to understand what may be best for the beleaguered 40-spots. She works at UTas under Dr Sally Bryant. Read on for the full story from the ABC.
Click the link below to read a terrific story posted in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Great work by the tenacious researcher Fernanda Alves of the Difficult Bird Research Group at the Fenner School in Canberra.
Exciting progress is continuing with reducing the impacts of cats in Bruny Island. This latest update includes these highlights:
- 40 cats (23 feral and 17 stray) removed from the project area.
- Feral cat control activities underway in the seabird colonies of north Bruny Island.
- Camera monitoring to estimate cat densities across north Bruny.
- Bruny Cat By-Law compliance rates above 70% for registered cat owners on Bruny Island.
- Opening of the Bruny Island Cat Management Facility in Alonnah, funded jointly through Ten Lives Cat Centre and Kingborough Council.
- 14 stray cats taken to the Alonnah Cat Facility. Most were rehomed through the Ten Lives Cat Centre, one domestic cat was returned to its owner.
- Camera monitoring by members of the Bruny Island Environment Network on private properties at Apollo Bay, Dennes Point and Barnes Bay.
- 11 community members assisting with cat trapping on their properties.
- A non-lethal trial of thermal shooting undertaken in the shearwater colonies.
- GPS tracking of feral cats to better understand their movement patterns and impacts on eastern quolls
It’s nesting time again and the 40-spots need our help!
BIEN, in partnership with the Forty-spotted pardalote Recovery Team is having a workshop for positive ID of the 40-spot.
Specifically aimed at people who have (or want to have) nest boxes, the workshop will cover:
- identify 40-spot by sight and call
- signs that the nest box is being used to raise chicks
- recording and reporting observations to share
Nest boxes will for sale at the workshop. We also want to collect information on where the boxes are, so come along!
A Community Forum on Dec 5th at Dennes Point provided information on the research and cat management activities planned for the next two years and discussed how the community can get involved. The work will focus on North Bruny as it is an important area in Tasmania for the threatened Eastern quoll and because of the relatively small number of feral cats present (compared to South Bruny).
Read the full report here, including the latest research and feral cat control measures.
Come along to another forum on Bruny’s water supply and the impact water supply may have on the Adventure Bay aquifer.
TasWater, along with BICA, BIEN and Kingborough Council are running the forum.
It builds upon an earlier forum held in 2019.
At the 2019 forum TasWater answered concerns and ideas arising from the community, and particularly from the Bruny Life survey. Notes from the meeting are available below.
Inside with Cats is a partnership between Kingborough Council, Ten Lives Cat Centre, Tasmanian Conservation Trust and the Bruny Island Environment Network.
This series of 5 videos introduces six Kingborough cats (along with their humans), who are embracing life on the inside. Inside with Cats is not just about containing cats inside a house, it also explores the various options these owners have used for outdoor enclosures or walking harnesses, and how they keep their cats safe, happy and healthy.
To view the videos go to this link. https://www.kingborough.tas.gov.au/2018/03/inside-with-cats/
Amongst the towering white gums on Inala, Bruny Land for Wildlife owners saw, heard and learnt about the cryptic Forty-spotted pardalotes from Dr Sally Bryant and our very own Tonia Cochran.
Hosted by BIEN, this training day marked the beginning of an exciting citizen science project that will focus initially on helping the 40-spots survive and thrive.
About 20 people from all over the island first learnt how to identify 40 spots and differentiate them from their two cousins – the Striated and the Spotted pardalotes – and also to identify the Manna or White gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) on which these little dears are completely dependent.
The 40-spots are very unusual animals in that they actually farm their food source. Close-up filming has revealed that these tiny birds use their hooked beak to wound the stalks of the Manna gum to promote manna – a sugary secretion that they eat.
Over the past 40 years, the population of the 40-spots has plummeted by 60%. Being completely dependent on Manna gum makes them very vulnerable and Manna gum is very sensitive to drought.
Huge swathes of Manna gum habitat has declined due to climate change and many former strongholds of the 40-spot are now empty of birds.
Off-shore islands now hold most of the 40-spot populations, and Bruny is of critical importance.
This is why BIEN is engaging with citizen scientists to help the birds survive and thrive.
We have reasonable ideas of where the 40-spots have been in the past, where people have put up nest boxes for them, and where people have planted white gums to encourage new colonies, and we are now asking people to monitor populations using the nest boxes and in suitable habitat.
We’ll feature here the best information about the 40-spots, how to:
- identify 40-spots
- identify Manna gums
- monitor for 40-spot presence and upload data
- build your own nest boxes (or purchase them)
- plant and protect new planting for habitat