Grey Goshawk (Accipter novaehollandiae)

​Applicat​​​ion for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment

Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Threatened Fauna) Permit is open until 24 May 2021

Applicant: University of Tasmania

Species/Taxon: Grey Goshawk

Location: South East Tasmania (private land and surveys on public roads)

Title of research: Spatial ecology of the grey goshawk in Tasmania

Aim of project: The aim of this study is to investigate the spatial ecology of grey goshawks in highly modified and natural habitats, and the ways in which modified anthropogenic habitats promote or negatively impact populations or individuals of the species. 

Justification: The grey goshawk (Accipiter novaehollandiae) is a medium sized predatory bird that is currently listed as ‘endangered’ under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 due to low population densities, restricted breeding distribution and ongoing habitat loss. Considerable conflict exists between land clearing for agriculture and urban development, production forestry and conservation of important habitat for this species in Tasmania. However, little is known of the spatial ecology and habitat requirements of grey goshawks as no work has been published, nor has any intensive research been undertaken to examine home range, movement patterns and spatio-temporal habitat use. Improved knowledge of the spatial ecology of grey goshawks at varying scales is vital to developing targeted management actions to support recovery of this species. 

The results from this research will facilitate improved conservation management strategies for grey goshawks in Tasmania. Key research outcomes are listed below:
  • ​ Information on home range size and movement patterns of adult grey goshawks during breeding and non-breeding seasons. 
  • Knowledge of spatial and temporal patterns of habitat use for adult grey goshawks during breeding and non-breeding seasons, in a variety of different habitats. 
Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: 20

Activities undertaken and methods: This study will use state of the art GPS tracking devices to investigate adult goshawk home range and movement ecology as well as spatial and temporal patterns of habitat use. A trial fitting of the GPS transmitters will be conducted on a captive goshawk that is being rehabilitated or is in permanent care at a raptor rehabilitation centre. The location of the trial will be at a Raptor Rehabilitation Centre in Nubeena. If another location is used (eg no grey goshawks in rehabilitation at Nubeena), the AEC and DPIPWE will be notified immediately of the alternate location. Alternate rehabilitation locations include Raptor Refuge, Bonorong Wildlife Centre or Raptor Care North West. 

Following a successful trial, wild goshawks will be trapped using common raptor trapping techniques and will be fitted with a GPS transmitter and released. This species has been trapped successfully in Tasmania on many occasions by raptor experts, rehabilitators and researchers. Following capture of a goshawk, the bird will be assessed for body condition and suitability to be fitted with a GPS transmitter. Exclusion criteria for birds that are not suitable to be fitted with a transmitter are as follows:

birds with skin wounds or irritation of or in the immediate vicinity where the harness will sit;

  • birds ​with a body condition score of 3 or under (scale of 1-5);
  • any injuries that may already significantly impede normal functioning e.g., leg/foot/wing injuries;
  • juvenile grey goshawks; or
  • breeding goshawks during incubation period.

Fate of animals: Goshawks will be released at the capture site after being fitted with a GPS transmitter. No mortalities or injuries are expected as the research team is very experienced in trapping and fitting GPS transmitters to Tasmanian raptors. 

Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch): Short term, minor stress to individual grey goshawks during transmitter fitting. By catch is not expected as traps are triggered manually and are constantly monitored by the research team.

Scientific Research Permits
Natural and Cultural Heritage
Level 5, 134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000


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