Agriculture, brolgas and Australian sarus cranes on the Atherton Tablelands, Australia

Timothy D. Nevard, Donald C. Franklin, Ian Leiper, George Archibald, Stephen T. Garnett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Flocks of brolgas (Antigone rubicunda) and Australian sarus cranes (A. antigone gillae) congregate in cropping areas of the Atherton Tablelands in north Queensland, Australia, during the non-breeding months of May to December each year and sometimes come into conflict with farmers. The central part of the region has been declared a Key Biodiversity Area, largely because it is the only well known non-breeding area for the Australian sarus crane. We investigated spatial and temporal patterns of use of this landscape for foraging by the two species to determine how they might be affected by changes in cropping. Abundances of the species were positively correlated with each other over both time and space. Sarus cranes were nevertheless markedly more abundant on the fertile volcanic soils of the central Tablelands, whilst brolgas were more abundant on a variety of soils in outlying cropping areas close to roost sites, especially in the south-west of the region. Both species used a wide variety of crops and pastures but occurred at highest densities on ploughed land and areas from which crops (especially maize) had been harvested. In addition, brolgas were also strongly associated with early-stage winter cereals with volunteer peanuts from the previous crop. We conclude that maize and peanut crops are important as foraging sites for both species during the non-breeding season, a situation that requires management in the interest of both cranes and farmers, especially as cropping patterns intensify and agricultural technology changes. However, we also note that flocking on the Atherton Tablelands indicates that brolgas and sarus cranes are likely to be adaptable to change and able to take advantage of newly created cropping areas.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPacific Conservation Biology
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Feb 2019

    Fingerprint

    crane
    cropping practice
    agriculture
    crop
    maize
    roost site
    volcanic soil
    agricultural technology
    cereal
    pasture
    biodiversity
    winter
    soil

    Cite this

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    title = "Agriculture, brolgas and Australian sarus cranes on the Atherton Tablelands, Australia",
    abstract = "Flocks of brolgas (Antigone rubicunda) and Australian sarus cranes (A. antigone gillae) congregate in cropping areas of the Atherton Tablelands in north Queensland, Australia, during the non-breeding months of May to December each year and sometimes come into conflict with farmers. The central part of the region has been declared a Key Biodiversity Area, largely because it is the only well known non-breeding area for the Australian sarus crane. We investigated spatial and temporal patterns of use of this landscape for foraging by the two species to determine how they might be affected by changes in cropping. Abundances of the species were positively correlated with each other over both time and space. Sarus cranes were nevertheless markedly more abundant on the fertile volcanic soils of the central Tablelands, whilst brolgas were more abundant on a variety of soils in outlying cropping areas close to roost sites, especially in the south-west of the region. Both species used a wide variety of crops and pastures but occurred at highest densities on ploughed land and areas from which crops (especially maize) had been harvested. In addition, brolgas were also strongly associated with early-stage winter cereals with volunteer peanuts from the previous crop. We conclude that maize and peanut crops are important as foraging sites for both species during the non-breeding season, a situation that requires management in the interest of both cranes and farmers, especially as cropping patterns intensify and agricultural technology changes. However, we also note that flocking on the Atherton Tablelands indicates that brolgas and sarus cranes are likely to be adaptable to change and able to take advantage of newly created cropping areas.",
    keywords = "Antigone antigone gillae, Antigone rubicunda, crop damage, farming, grain, maize, peanuts",
    author = "Nevard, {Timothy D.} and Franklin, {Donald C.} and Ian Leiper and George Archibald and Garnett, {Stephen T.}",
    year = "2019",
    month = "2",
    day = "15",
    doi = "10.1071/PC18081",
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    journal = "Pacific Conservation Biology",
    issn = "1038-2097",
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    Agriculture, brolgas and Australian sarus cranes on the Atherton Tablelands, Australia. / Nevard, Timothy D.; Franklin, Donald C.; Leiper, Ian; Archibald, George; Garnett, Stephen T.

    In: Pacific Conservation Biology, 15.02.2019.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Agriculture, brolgas and Australian sarus cranes on the Atherton Tablelands, Australia

    AU - Nevard, Timothy D.

    AU - Franklin, Donald C.

    AU - Leiper, Ian

    AU - Archibald, George

    AU - Garnett, Stephen T.

    PY - 2019/2/15

    Y1 - 2019/2/15

    N2 - Flocks of brolgas (Antigone rubicunda) and Australian sarus cranes (A. antigone gillae) congregate in cropping areas of the Atherton Tablelands in north Queensland, Australia, during the non-breeding months of May to December each year and sometimes come into conflict with farmers. The central part of the region has been declared a Key Biodiversity Area, largely because it is the only well known non-breeding area for the Australian sarus crane. We investigated spatial and temporal patterns of use of this landscape for foraging by the two species to determine how they might be affected by changes in cropping. Abundances of the species were positively correlated with each other over both time and space. Sarus cranes were nevertheless markedly more abundant on the fertile volcanic soils of the central Tablelands, whilst brolgas were more abundant on a variety of soils in outlying cropping areas close to roost sites, especially in the south-west of the region. Both species used a wide variety of crops and pastures but occurred at highest densities on ploughed land and areas from which crops (especially maize) had been harvested. In addition, brolgas were also strongly associated with early-stage winter cereals with volunteer peanuts from the previous crop. We conclude that maize and peanut crops are important as foraging sites for both species during the non-breeding season, a situation that requires management in the interest of both cranes and farmers, especially as cropping patterns intensify and agricultural technology changes. However, we also note that flocking on the Atherton Tablelands indicates that brolgas and sarus cranes are likely to be adaptable to change and able to take advantage of newly created cropping areas.

    AB - Flocks of brolgas (Antigone rubicunda) and Australian sarus cranes (A. antigone gillae) congregate in cropping areas of the Atherton Tablelands in north Queensland, Australia, during the non-breeding months of May to December each year and sometimes come into conflict with farmers. The central part of the region has been declared a Key Biodiversity Area, largely because it is the only well known non-breeding area for the Australian sarus crane. We investigated spatial and temporal patterns of use of this landscape for foraging by the two species to determine how they might be affected by changes in cropping. Abundances of the species were positively correlated with each other over both time and space. Sarus cranes were nevertheless markedly more abundant on the fertile volcanic soils of the central Tablelands, whilst brolgas were more abundant on a variety of soils in outlying cropping areas close to roost sites, especially in the south-west of the region. Both species used a wide variety of crops and pastures but occurred at highest densities on ploughed land and areas from which crops (especially maize) had been harvested. In addition, brolgas were also strongly associated with early-stage winter cereals with volunteer peanuts from the previous crop. We conclude that maize and peanut crops are important as foraging sites for both species during the non-breeding season, a situation that requires management in the interest of both cranes and farmers, especially as cropping patterns intensify and agricultural technology changes. However, we also note that flocking on the Atherton Tablelands indicates that brolgas and sarus cranes are likely to be adaptable to change and able to take advantage of newly created cropping areas.

    KW - Antigone antigone gillae

    KW - Antigone rubicunda

    KW - crop damage

    KW - farming

    KW - grain

    KW - maize

    KW - peanuts

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85066868287&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1071/PC18081

    DO - 10.1071/PC18081

    M3 - Article

    JO - Pacific Conservation Biology

    JF - Pacific Conservation Biology

    SN - 1038-2097

    ER -