BirdLife Northern Queensland has been involved in a number of Grasswren monitoring projects, organised by Graham Harrington, since 2008. The first two, in 2008 and 2009 were done as part of the Important Bird Areas (IBA) initiative of Birds Australia. The third project in 2011 was done by BANQ under contract to the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) to assess the population of Carpentarian Grasswren in Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park.
Check out the Grasswren Projects page to find out more.
Here is another link to a report: Preliminary spatial model using fire scar data to monitor Carpentarian Grasswrens (updated 18 Oct 2014)
Carpentarian Grasswren Crowdfunding Project
The last Carpentarian Grasswren (Carpie) to be seen near the China Wall in the Northern Territory was in 1986. Since then widespread and frequent fires have severely reduced the population to the point where they were thought to be extinct in this area.
In June 2017, Birdlife North Queensland with the Waanyi-Garawa Rangers and two Traditional Owners, undertook a field survey and got a contact call at one site, which they believe was made by a Carpie.
Based on this small sign of hope, we have launched a crowd funding campaign to raise $28,000 to hire a helicopter and install sound recorders along the Wall.We need your help! For more information, and to join in and donate to this cause, please visit our chuffed.org crowdfunding page.
For more information, please contact Graham Harrington via Email or phone 0448 055 077 or 07 4096 5051.
BirdLife Northern Queensland Annual Crane Count
After 12 years of successful all-NQ Crane Counts, the BirdLife Northern Queensland Annual Count now concentrates on Sarus Cranes in the Atherton Tablelands IBA (Important Bird Area). Enthusiastic volunteers survey Sarus Cranes as they fly into wetland night roosts on the Atherton Tablelands. The data support crane knowledge and conservation both locally, and overseas through Birds Australia's partner, BirdLife International. Brolgas and Sarus Cranes in other areas are now counted through the Birds Australia Atlas. More about the ongoing annual Count and Crane Atlassing »
BirdLife Northern Queensland also helps support Dr John Grant's ongoing Gulf Crane Project, discovering more about Australian Sarus Cranes breeding and migration. Read about (almost) satellite tracking an Australian Sarus Crane »
The Townsville District is the last known stronghold of the endangered southern race of the Black-throated Finch (Poephila cincta cincta). A Black-throated Finch Recovery Team has been formed in Townsville to address its plight.
BirdLife Townsville is represented on this team and members supports the project by taking part in surveys each October to count the numbers of Black-throated Finches frequenting dams and water-holes in the Townsville area. See the Black-throated Finch page for more details.
In 1965 Margaret and Arthur Thorsborne started regular counts of Pied Imperial Pigeons on North Brook Island after finding shooters killing large numbers of the birds. Since then the birds have been protected by law and now with the help of QPWS, counts have been organised in at least November and December every year and numbers have increased from several thousand to well over 30,000.
In the 80s John Winter organised counters from Magnetic Is, north to Port Douglas to count or estimate the number of pigeons in their areas. There are large numbers of Pied Imperial Pigeons nesting on the Barnard Islands (between Mission Beach and Mourilyan), about which there is very little information.
As it was not known whether the birds which feed in the Mission Beach area nest and roost on the Family Group, the Brook Islands or the Barnard Islands, a survey of returning birds took place at Mission Beach on 10 November 2007.
It was found that birds in the northern area of Mission Beach did indeed head back towards the Barnard Islands, while in the southern area, birds went in a southeasterly direction past Dunk Island towards Timana Island.
Please visit http://www.pipwatch.net/ for more details of this project.
Golden & Toothbilled Bowerbirds
Monitoring of the persistence of bowers throughout the Wet Tropics is undertaken on an ongoing basis. It is assumed that if global warming becomes an issue for these birds that the bowers at lowest altitudes will be the first to disappear. The database is maintained by Graham Harrington and he welcomes additional records. Please send us your reports by Email.
(Courtesy of Ken Haines)
Field work on Carpentarian Grasswren:
volunteer surveyors measuring the height
of spinifex after locating grasswrens
(Courtesy of Keith & Lindsay Fisher)
Sarus Cranes (Courtesy Ian Montgomery)
Southern Black-throated Finch
(Courtesy Ian Montgomery)
(Courtesy Ian Montgomery)
(Courtesy Mikey Kudo)
Buff-breasted Buttonquail Project
BANQ carried out a successful search for the rare and little-known Buff-breasted Button-quail in December, 2011. Read the full report, which contains gives an account of the survey, provides maps, reviews information about the species and gives details of some recent sightings.