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Aerial surveys of waterbirds

Assessing wetland condition

J.L. Porter, R.T. Kingsford, S.A. Halse

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Aerial surveys were able to distinguish different waterbird communities in terms of species richness, abundance and assemblages. While they suffered measurement error, aerial surveys easily separated waterbird communities on these measures. In addition we compared aerial surveys to ground surveys.

There was reasonable agreement in numbers of species and abundance, although there was a tendency for aerial surveys to underestimate the number of species seen during ground counts. Some ground counts suffered considerably from not being able to access all of a wetland area. One aerial survey of a wooded wetland significantly underestimated abundance and number of species. As well as only accessing a limited number of wetlands (i.e. accessible by road), not being able survey entire large wetlands, reliant on voluntary expertise, ground surveys were generally more costly in terms of time and effort. Overall we showed that aerial surveys are a cheap and effective method of surveying waterbird populations in three different regions of the continent and would be effective at any scale including a continental scale.

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J.L. Porter, R.T. Kingsford, S.A. Halse
Product Type: 
Final Report
Product Format: 
National Land and Water Resources Audit

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This publication is not attached to any projects.

id: 2473 / created: 04 August, 2008 / last updated: 05 September, 2008