Wimmera Bird Monitoring Project
The Wimmera contains a rich diversity of habitats, ranging from mountains to mallee, wetlands to wheat fields. Over 250 species of birds are known to live in the region. Wimmera CMA has co-ordinated a biodiversity monitoring project using birds as indicators of catchment health. Over 700 survey sites across the catchment represent different vegetation types, patch sizes and land uses.
Bird Observers Club of Australia members played an important role in surveying many of the sites.
The Wimmera Bird Monitoring Project used bird surveying as a basis for monitoring biodiversity in the region. Increases in bird populations or the presence of particular species can provide an indication of improvements to land management and catchment health. Volunteers regularly undertook bird surveys at selected sites across a wide range of habitat types and land uses.
The presence or absence of certain species can be a good indicator of wider catchment health. Biodiversity values tend to be higher in large patches of woodland compared to small patches. A good example of an environmental indicator species is the Jacky Winter, a woodland bird declining across most of its range.