Long term wader study

Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment

Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 5th November 2019

Applicant: Victorian Wader Study Group Inc

Species/Taxon: Charadriiformes

Location: King Island

Title of research: A long term comprehensive study of waders and terns in Victoria, the south-east of South Australia and Tasmania.

Aim of project: The study in Tasmania complements similar studies in SA and Victoria to give an overall picture of the ecology of Ruddy Turnstone, other shorebirds and terns in southern Australia. The study of Avian Influenza in Ruddy Turnstones will support work in other states to determine the structure and determinants of AIV genetic diversity in different ecological contexts.

Justification: This study will enable the timing, migration routes, individual tactics, annual survival, annual production, and breeding duration of different populations of Ruddy Turnstones overwintering in Tasmania to be determined. It will complement studies in Victoria and South Australia. Site and migratory route faithfulness including investigation of the rate of exchange between over-wintering sites within Australia and individual migration routes in successive years and breeding success will also be investigated. Information generated will assist in the conservation of migratory species throughout the East-Asian Australasian Flyway including species listed under international treaties such as Japan Australia Migratory Birds Agreement, China Australia Migratory Birds Agreement and Republic of Korea Australia Migratory Birds Agreement as well as Commonwealth legislation such as the EPBC Act. Understanding how Avian influenza virus (AIV) emerges, evolves and spreads in the wild bird reservoir is of major importance to wildlife, agriculture and public health. Information on the origins of Crested Terns breeding on King Island will assist in understanding the changes in breeding location of Crested Terns over time.It will also aid population estimations of this colonially nesting species and may help explain losses/absences from the Victorian breeding populations. Understanding these movements will aid the conservation of the species which could be vulnerable to loss of alternative colony nesting sites that are used over a long-time frame and geographically wide area.  The Crested Tern is listed on the Japan Australia Migratory Birds Agreement and the EPBC Act.

Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: (if impossible to estimate, indicate effort e.g. number of traps to be used and how long to be set). All species of migratory and resident shorebirds and terns occurring on King Island, Tasmania (not Eastern Curlew or Little Tern).  Principal species are: 

Arenaria interpres Ruddy Turnstone, Between 100 and 700 birds p.a.
Calidris ruficollis Red-necked Stint, Up to 100 birds p.a.
Charadrius bicinctus Double-banded Plover, Up to 50 birds  p.a.
Haematopus longirostris Australian Pied Oystercatcher, Up to 50 birds  p.a
Haematopus fuliginosus Sooty Oystercatcher, Up to 20 birds  p.a
Thinornis rubricollis Hooded Plover, Up to10 birds  p.a
Thalasseus bergii Crested Tern, 100 birds p.a.
One cannon net will be used at one or two locations per day, depending on the tide, for a maximum period of 14 days spread over two trapping sessions, one in early autumn and one in late spring.

Activities undertaken and methods: Through the marking and recapture of individuals (target species Ruddy Turnstone) information on the use of particular sites by males and females, migratory routes including stopover sites, timing of migration and duration of stop overs, breeding areas, survival rate, and the determination of breeding areas will be identified.  Swabs and small blood samples will be collected from Ruddy Turnstone for avian influenza studies.

Capture of adult Crested Terns with metal bands already on at the breeding colony on King Island will enable their origin to be determined from their uniquely numbered metal band which is registered with the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme.  No banding of chicks or adults of this species will be undertaken at the breeding colony.

Fate of animals: Held and released at the site of capture

Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch): Minor Conscious Procedure


Scientific Research Permits
Natural Values Conservation Branch
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Email: Scientific.Permits@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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