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Results of a survey to gather information on the use of tree hollows by birds in Tasmania


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Koch, AJ and Woehler, E 2007 , 'Results of a survey to gather information on the use of tree hollows by birds in Tasmania' , The Tasmanian Naturalist, vol. 129 , pp. 37-46 .

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Australia has a high number of species that use tree hollows for nesting or roosting (Gibbons & Lindenmayer 2002), but there are no primary excavators such as woodpeckers present, as is the case in the northern hemisphere. This means that all hollows are produced by slow processes generally involving fire, fungi and termites, although some species are known to modify the size of cavities to an extent e.g. cockatoos, brushtail possums (Ambrose 1982; Saunders et at. 1982). Consequently, many years are required to form hollows, especially large hollows. There is a general decrease in hollow-bearing trees across Australia due to land clearing for urbanization and agriculture, forestry activities and the death ofhollow-bearing trees retained in paddocks and urban areas (Gibbons & Lindenmayer 2002). This has resulted in concern for the conservation of hollow-using fauna across Australia (Lindenmayer et at. 1993; Gibbons & Lindenmayer 1997; Whitford & Williams 2002; Wormington et at. 2002).ln Tasmania, hollow-dependent fauna are a management priority under the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (CofA & SoIT 1997). Forest management agencies in most states of Australia, including Tasmania, have developed management prescriptions for the conservation of habitat for hollow-using fauna (Wayne et at. 2006). Yet the tree hollow requirements and the degree to which fauna are dependent on hollows vary greatly among species. Consequently, an essential element of any retention strategy is knowledge of the fauna that use hollows in the region and their known or likely hollow requirements (Recher 1991). There are large differences in the amount of literature available for Tasmanian fauna species, birds in particular, with more information generally available for threatened species. This paper presents the results of a survey distributed to members of Birds Tasmania, intended to gather anecdotal information to assist in assessing the degree to which Tasmania's bird fauna are dependent on tree hollows. The information collected can also be used to help assess the conservation status and threatening process for these species.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Koch, AJ and Woehler, E
Journal or Publication Title: The Tasmanian Naturalist
Publisher: The Tasmanian Field Naturalist Club Inc.
ISSN: 0819-6826
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