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The relationship between woodland remnant size and bird diversity in an urban landscape in southern Tasmania


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Le Fort, PA 2002 , 'The relationship between woodland remnant size and bird diversity in an urban landscape in southern Tasmania', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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There has been much research which relates reduction of habitat to reduction in
biodiversity anq often birds are chosen as the best indicators of these changes.
In Australia studies in this area have largely focused on the effects on birds in
changing rural or forested, rather than urban, landscapes. There has been little
research in this area in Tasmania, yet this State has perhaps the highest
proportion of original natural habitat remaining of any State in Australia. This
study compared the avifauna of adjacent urban and dry sclerophyll woodland
sites in the urban fringe of Hobart and found significant differences in bird
species diversity between these habitats.
For the purposes of this study, the woodland remnants, therefore, could be
considered islands and were tested for a species-area relationship according to
the principles of island biogeography. The varying size of woodland remnant,
from 1 to.3100hectares,simulating'habitat loss' was used to study its effects on
the species richness and population density of the woodland avifauna. Data
were gathered by the line transect method in these woodland remnants and the
results analysed by the DISTANCE software package which gives estimates of
population size and density. The results were plotted as a chart of approximate
population sizes of the more common 22 species of woodland bird. Depending
on what is considered to be the minimum viable population size the chart could
be used as an indication of the threshold remnant area of woodland required
for these species. In so doing it provides a mechanism by which predictions
may be made regarding reductions in populations and loss of entire species as
remnants are reduced further by urban expansion. If acceptable levels of
remaining biodiversity for dry sclerophyll woodland can be set, then the sort of
methodology adopted in this study could be used by natural area managers to
predict whether development proposals are likely to re_duce an area of habitat
below an ecologically sustainable level.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Le Fort, PA
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2002 the Author

Additional Information:

Graduated as Paul Le Fort. Also known as Paul LeFort.

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