A small coastal high-tide roost on North Stradbroke Island, south-eastern Queensland: Diversity, seasonality and disturbance of birds

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    Abstract

    Weekly counts of a small high-tide roost-site in the town of Dunwich, North Stradbroke Island, south-eastern Queensland, were undertaken over a 55-week period in 2007-2008. Twenty-two species of bird were recorded utilising the roost during counts, including five species of shorebird that breed in the Arctic, four species of shorebird that breed in Australia and six species of tern. Five species contributed -90% of counted individuals: Australian Pied OystercatchcT Haematopus longirostris (56%), Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis ( 10%), Silver Gull Chrokocephalusnovaehollandiae(10%), Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia (7%) and Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica (6%). Small shorebird species were largely absent from the site. During the study period, species richness and species diversity were highest in winter and spring and lowest in summer and autumn. Peak counts of Australian Pied Oystercatcher indicate that this is an internationally important site for that species. Less than one fifth (18.5%) of counts were disturbed by natural stimuli (raptors), whereas nearly half (48.1%') were disturbed by human stimuli. The highest proportion of human disturbances was from people walking unleashed dogs (44% of recorded encounters). Management recommendations to minimise disturbance to this site include educating the community and local government on the value of the site as an important wildlife area, and enforcing existing state and local regulations designed to minimise disturbance to shorebirds and to manage dogs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)94-108
    Number of pages15
    JournalAustralian Field Ornithology
    Volume27
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010

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