Blackbirds (Turdus merula)

​Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment

Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 6 January 2020

Applicant: University of Tasmania, Poznań University of Life Sciences, CSIRO

Species/Taxon: Blackbird

Location: public land, including parks and gardens and private lands by invitation only

Title of research: Anthropogenic nest materials in blackbird (Turdus merula) nests.

Aim of project: We plan to investigate if Tasmanian blackbirds incorporate anthropogenic materials (e.g. plastic string, foil) in nest construction. We will provide an insight on birds behaviour towards plastic pollution and allow better understanding of this behaviour.


This is the first study of plastic incorporation into nests by blackbirds in Tasmania. This study will allow us to compare this blackbird behaviour, as European blackbirds are known of incorporating plastic into their nests.

Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: NA

Activities undertaken and methods: Observation from distance, by binocular blackbird pairs to localize nests. After nestlings will leave the nests, we will gently collect the nests. After we will measure the nests and dismantle in order to weigh and categorise nest materials, with a focus on anthropogenic nest materials.

Fate of animals: NA

Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch): Minimal impact as we will only observe birds. We will minimise the disturbance by keeping the distance.


Scientific Research Permits
Natural Values Conservation Branch
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000

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