September Meeting

Wed 12 September 2018 07:30pm

Birgita Hansen and Lori Gould - Building an understanding of habitat use, movement and migration of Latham’s Snipe

This month there will be a joint presentation by Birgita Hansen, a Research Fellow at the Federation University Australia, Ballarat, and Lori Gould, Program Manager of the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust at the Jerrabomberra Wetlands, entitled “Building an understanding of habitat use, movement and migration of Latham’s Snipe”.

The bilateral Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA) for the Protection of Migratory Birds in Danger of Extinction and their Environment was agreed between the two governments in February 1974 and came into force on 30 April 1981. The Latham’s Snipe is one of the species protected under JAMBA, yet for over 30 years very little research was done on this species.

The Latham’s Snipe project was initiated in the wake of a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal case in 2014, regarding a housing development proposal on an important Latham’s Snipe wetland (Powling Street wetlands) in Port Fairy, south-western Victoria. During the case, proponents claimed that the housing development would not impact the snipe population because the birds would move to another site. However, there was no evidence to support this claim.

Birgita will be presenting the results so far of the multi-scale investigation, which she co-ordinates, into the patterns of habitat use by the Latham’s Snipe and their response to urban development in south-western Victoria. This will include the capture and tagging program aimed at investigating the species local movements and between western Victoria and the island of Hokkaido Japan where it mainly breeds. This commenced in the spring of 2015. Lori will summarise the data obtained from Jerrabomberra Wetlands over the past couple of years, as well as reporting the findings to date from the local Snipe radio-tracking project. She will also outline future plans based on the results to date.

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