Conserving woodland birds … cost-effectively!

Natural Decisions has just completed an interesting piece of work examining the feasibility of conserving woodland birds in central Victoria. The woodland dependent  bird community is threatened across much of south-eastern Australia, largely from threats such as habitat loss and fragmentation, over grazing and inappropriate fire regimes. An INFFER analysis conducted for the Connecting Country project examined the costs and feasibility of achieving SMART targets for a small suite of woodland dependent birds: Brown Treecreeper, Diamond Firetail, Painted Button-quail, Hooded Robin and Jacky Winter, all species of conservation concern in the project area.

Diamond Firetails2

Diamond Firetails were one of the species that formed the basis of the analysis.


We used reporting rate data provided by BirdLife Australia and local field surveys, to firstly identify core populations of the target species, then to identify target areas for habitat enhancement and revegetation works, including ‘stepping-stone’ corridors. Setting SMART goals for biodiversity projects is not without its challenges but with the help of Chris Tzaros from Birdlife and Chris Timewell from Connecting Country we were able to establish feasible and testable goals based around future reporting rates. Not surprisingly the cost of proposed works are significant, with large areas of targeted remnant protection required on private land. Reliable data on landholder attitudes and adoption was then integrated into the assessment. The overall Benefit:Cost ratio was close to break even, indicating that a cost-effective approach to securing woodland bird populations in this landscape is within reach.

Please contact us if you would like more information on this project.

Posted 13 September 2013 in News