Grey Goshawk (Accipter novaehollandiae)

Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment

Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 1 March 2021,​

Applicant: University of Tasmania

Species/Taxon: Grey Goshawk

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

Title of research: Ecology of the Grey Goshawk

Aim of project: The aim of this study is to apply a comparative approach to gain further insights into the 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. Although grey goshawks are found throughout most of Tasmania, important breeding habitat appears to be confined to lowland wet forests with mature regrowth and old growth trees adjacent to watercourses (Brereton 1993; Brereton & Mooney 1994). Thus, considerable conflict exists between land clearing for agriculture and urban development, production forestry and conservation of important habitat for this species. No recent work has been published, nor has any intensive research been undertaken to examine the effects of forestry activities and land clearing on grey goshawk nest site selection, home range, breeding densities and habitat use. Improved knowledge of the ecology of grey goshawks at varying spatial 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:

  1. Basic ecological information on habitat use and requirements for this under-studied threatened species, including an understanding of how forestry activities and urbanisation impact the habitat use of grey goshawks. 
  2. Identification and characterisation of regional nesting habitat. 
  3. Development of a nesting habitat model to predict the location of nests for conservation
  4. Development of effective survey techniques to locate grey goshawks and nest sites. 
  5. Knowledge of nest productivity and breeding densities
Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: 20

Activities undertaken and methods:
  1. ​Conduct call playback surveys to locate grey goshawks and nests to characterise important regional nesting habitat in modified/unmodified habitats in SE Tasmania. Disturbance to pre-breeding adults and potential nest sites will be minimised by not conducting call playback near any known nest sites or during the early breeding season (September – October)
  2. Estimate breeding densities and nest productivity in SE Tasmania from nest sites located during this study. Productivity of nests will be obtained by observing nests at approximately 40 nest sites from a distance with binoculars to count the number of chicks prior to fledging (December to February). Breeding densities (pairs per km2) and inter nest distances (e.g. nearest neighbours) will be calculated from nest sites.
Fate of animals: Goshawks will be exposed to minor noise disturbance during surveys. No mortalities are expected. 

Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch): Short term, minor disturbance to individuals during surveys and nest observations. 


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

Back Home