Wind and Wildlife Brolga Presentation


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Wind and Wildlife Brolga Presentation

  1. 1. Aaron Organ – Director / Principal Ecologist Melbourne, Geelong, Brisbane Ph (03) 9377 0100, Mob. 0425 873 159
  2. 2. Presentation Outline Relevant Research Background Case Study - South West Victoria Key considerations for Industry (Proponents, Ecological Consultants, Government) Conclusion
  3. 3. 6
  4. 4. Relevant Research1. Caughley 1977 – Considered methods of aerial survey – both practically and statistical efficiency. Transect sampling is preferred2. Morton et al. 1993 – Distribution and abundance of Brolgas and Black-necked Storks in the Alligator Rivers Region, NT3. Dolbeer et al. 1997 – Aerial photography techniques to estimate populations of Laughing Gull nests at Jamaica Bay, New York4. Kingsford 1999 - Aerial survey of waterbirds on wetlands as a measure of river and floodplain health5. Harding, C. 2002 - The use of remote sensing and geographic information systems to predict suitable breeding habitat for the Brolga in SW Victoria 7
  5. 5. Brolga Grus rubicunda Vulnerable in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, listed under relevant State legislation Listed as ‘migratory’ under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 Action Statement and Recovery Plans in place Subject to a range of threatening processes (largely wetland drainage, fox predation) 8
  6. 6. Distribution and Population Abundant and widespread occurring across northern and south-eastern Australia In Victoria, the species occurs in the western part of the state and on the Northern Plains adjacent to Murray River Australian population estimated to be 20,000 to 100,000 Victorian population ◦ 1980s and 1990s - 600 to 650 individuals ◦ 2007 - 465-576 individuals 9
  7. 7. 10
  8. 8. 11
  9. 9. Wetland Distribution across Victoria SW Vic Brolga breeding 12
  10. 10. South West Victoria – Case StudySurvey objectives Spatial distribution of Brolga nests Extent of available habitat Importance of study area Information used to inform turbine and infrastructure layout Risk and impact under relevant legislation and policy Measures to avoid, minimise and offset the impacts to Brolga 13
  11. 11. Case Study - South West VictoriaMethods Surveys undertaken in accordance with survey guidelines developed by DSE and other experts Cessna 172, four-seat, high-wing, fixed wing aircraft Flight height of 500 feet Flight speed of 60-70 knots Two observers observing 250 metres to the north and the south of the transects Observers scanned the landscape and all wetlands, dams, creeks and drainage lines with binoculars Each observer had an aerial map showing wetlands and numbered transects Each observer had a GPS and data sheets 14
  12. 12. 15
  13. 13. 16
  14. 14. 18
  15. 15. Swan Nests 19
  16. 16. Brolga Nest 20
  17. 17. Brolga Nests 21
  18. 18. Brolga Nests 22
  19. 19. 23
  20. 20. Key ConsiderationsThe Proponent Reliable survey method accepted by DSE Cost effective Major time reductions (important for quicker decisions regarding site layout) Early determination of the magnitude of constraints across the wind farm site Information on the relative importance of habitat (avoid, minimise and offset) 24
  21. 21. Key ConsiderationsThe Consultant Ensure survey techniques remain consistent and repeatable for analysis over time Surveys obviously need to coincide with when the species is nesting Be prepared (take tablets and a paper bag) Understand your role during the flight Bad lighting conditions, turbulence, using naked eye rather than binoculars and motion sickness is likely to reduce detectability of brolgas Communication is important Collect data consistently Augment with other intensive survey methods 25
  22. 22. Key ConsiderationsThe Government Further refinement to the survey guidelines and policies (detection probabilities, turbine buffer distances) DSE should improve spatial data on important Brolga breeding habitat across the SW and make it publicly available (exclusion areas for development?) The Government continues to receive data, and our understanding of the species’ distribution and relative importance of areas for breeding Assists all levels of Government in ensuring accurate and consistent planning decisions 26
  23. 23. Conclusion A proven survey technique that shouldn’t be used in isolation Spatial understanding of habitat High detection rates Allows areas which have access restrictions to be surveyed Determine any potential impacts associated with a proposed wind farm facility on the species Inform avoidance and minimisation strategies Reduced time and costs Can determine where wetland restoration actions should be directed 27
  24. 24. 28
  25. 25. 29
  26. 26. Video clip - start 30
  27. 27. Questions? 31
  28. 28. Aaron Organ Director / Principal Ecologist 0425 873 159Adelaide - (08) 8372 7829 Brisbane – (07) 3221 3352 / Geelong – (03) 5221 8122 / Melbourne – (03) 9377 0100