Research Thesis Topic
Effects of grazing, fire and invasive species on squatter pigeons
This project is primarily about the conservation of squatter pigeons across western Queensland. The general approach of the project is to capitalise on an existing large-scale (~10,000 km2) long-term (since 2013) grazing-biodiversity experiment in the southern Galilee Basin as the backdrop to a series of smaller-scale experiments assessing the effects of grazing, fire and invasive species on population trends of squatter pigeons at key sites. This work will be augmented by acoustic monitoring of squatter pigeons (and other birds). Specific project objectives include:
1. Quantify broader trends in the relative abundance of mammals, birds and reptiles across the Galilee Basin;
2. Quantify trends in the relative abundance of squatter pigeons at key sites, and relate these to broader trends in mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds across the Galilee Basin;
3. Determine habitat characteristics influencing squatter pigeon patch use at key sites; and
4. Quantify the effects of grazing, fire and invasive species on populations of yakka skinks and squatter pigeons.
This project will use existing distribution records and additional ground surveys to identify local foraging sites frequented by pigeons for inclusion in smaller-scale trials conducted against the broader experimental backdrop. Different foraging sites will be experimentally exposed to various fire and grazing treatments over at least two successive summers to determine their effects on pigeon activity and abundance. Acoustic monitoring will be used to assess pigeon presence and activity, supplemented by visual surveys at key sites.
- Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
- Agriculture, Land and Farm Management
Please review the admission requirements for the academic program associated with this Thesis Topic
This project requires extended periods of travel to work alone in remote areas