Lyrebird

Lyrebird Numbers Up, Brush Bronze-wing Population Explodes!

Friends of Tarra-Bulga have now been using remote cameras within the park to monitor wildlife for over three years. The table below shows results adjusted for the number of days cameras have been active in the field. We currently have eight cameras that are moved around to different sites on a regular basis. As of January 2015 the cameras had spent a combined total of over 5000 days in the field and were triggered by animal movements over 10,000 times.

Feral Cat with a Sugar Glider
Feral Cat numbers have risen

The results show a number of interesting trends. For mammals most species have not varied much in the frequency of sightings over the 3 years with a few exceptions. There was a large jump in Koala sightings in 2014 most were at one site where a Koala developed a routine of passing by every couple of days. Feral Cat numbers have risen each year and Ring-tailed Possum sightings seem to have declined. (the figures for Ring-tails have been influenced heavily by one popular site).

Lyrebird
Lyrebirds captures by our cameras doubled each year.

There has been a massive jump in the numbers of birds that the cameras are detecting. The number Lyrebirds passing cameras have doubled each year. Bassian Thrush (Zoothera lunulata) sightings increased around 600% in 2014 and Brush Bronze-wing numbers skyrocketed from only 15 sightings in 2013 up to 404. Crimson Rosellas, Eastern Whipbirds, Pilotbirds and *Common Blackbirds all had a significant rise in detection. Two smaller species the White-browed Scrubwren and the Superb Fairy Wren were also ‘captured’ more often.

Brush Bronzewing
We have had massive increase in the number of Brush Bronzewings recorded.

A reason for the jump in bird numbers may be due to camera placement. One site used in 2014 was very popular for ground dwelling bird, however this does not fully explain the rise, other camera sites were used in both years and showed a big increase ground dwelling birds from 2013. Fox control efforts in recent years may also be a factor helping the birds numbers increase. Our results have picked up a small rise in Fox numbers over the last few years. As our monitoring continues, time will tell if this greater abundance of bird sightings will be maintained.

Species 2012 2013 2014
Lyrebird 319 618 1239
Bassian Thrush 136 135 639
White-browed Scrubwren 61 49 181
Eastern Whipbird 21 14 98
Pilotbird 14 35 93
Satin Bowerbird 14 5 2
Crimson Rosella 5 5 195
Grey Currawong 5 11 16
Olive Whistler 5 9 5
Brush Bronzewing 2 15 404
Eastern Yellow Robin 2 3 8
Fantail, Rufous 2 2 5
Grey Shrike-Thrush 2 3 6
Magpie 2 0 0
Pied Currawong 2 4 7
Superb Fairy-wren 2 3 45
Wedge tailted Eagle 2 0 0
Brown Gerygone 0 0 1
Brown Thornbill 0 2 0
Common Bronzewing 0 1 4
Fantail, Grey 0 2 0
Kookaburra 0 6 3
Raven Species 0 1 3
Tawny Frogmouth 0 0 2
White Throated Tree-creeper 0 0 3
Fox 131 220 229
Rabbit 126 39 24
Common Blackbird 19 10 125
Feral Cat 16 33 64
Human 0 0 1
Swamp Wallaby 513 947 761
Long Nosed Bandicoot 197 81 185
Brushtail Possum 176 171 169
Wombat 138 160 120
Rattus Species 82 146 152
Antechinus 54 73 59
Echidna 16 16 43
Ring-tailed Possum 5 58 20
Koala 2 9 81
Dog 0 1 1
Sugar Glider 0 3 1
Unidentifiable Bird 103 101 119
Small Mammal – Unidentifiable 47 67 44
Large Mammal – Unidentifiable 33 16 29

Remote Camera Monitoring March 2013

Camera 1- Has been repaired after Lyrebird attack and will be back in action ASAP.

 Camera 2 – is  still placed in an area that has quite prolific wildlife sightings.

This month it captured a variety of birds, which surprisingly is not always the case given the diversity of species in the park. Birds pictured were the Yellow Robin, Crimson Rosella, Grey Shrike-thrush, Satin Bowerbird, Lyrebird, White-browed Scrub-wren and the Bassian Thrush, Also picked up some nice photos of Some very active Brushtails, Antechinus, Wombats and Echidnas. On the down side there was a feral Cat sneaking Foxes around and no sign of any Bandicoots. Apologies to the Wallabies we spotted having a rather private moment.

Tarra Valley South West
Tarra Valley South West – Species Count

Camera 3 – Was on a steep slope and this month produced a lot more photos, probably due to just a slight change of position which was aimed at more level ground. Grey Currawongs were hanging around the site along with Antechinus, Lyrebirds, Brushtail’s and Echindna’s. This was a much better result than the last time where only Foxes, Wallabies and Lyrebirds were detected.

Tarra Bulga South Central
Tarra Bulga South Central – Species Count

Camera 4 – Was located at a site that was also surprisingly busy given that has a lower diversity because it is an area of shrubby regrowth forest with a ground cover of only bark, leaf litter and bare soil. Grey Currawongs again seemed to be active at the moment; Brush Bronzewings seem to like this area as well as Lyrebirds (sometimes in pairs). Crimson Rosellas, Eastern Whip-birds and Bassian Thrushes were also spotted. Wombats, Wallabies and Antechinus were the main mammals along with visits by two Feral Cats and a Fox. The results were similar to last time and the camera has now been moved into some different habitat.

Balook West - Camera 4
Balook West – Camera 4, Species Counts

Camera 5 This camera was located at the bottom of a damp fern gully, With only 400 photos in the six week period it was actually a bit quieter than some of the other locations, although there was a lot of Brush-tailed possum activity (Good spot for Powerful Owls to get some tucker!!) and a lot of Pilotbird activity. Other Mammal species were an unidentified rodent, Antechinus, Wallabies and the ubiquitous Foxes (which were seen at all 7 Camera sites scattered around the park).

Balook Gully
Balook Gully Species Count

Camera 6 – Is a site located close to old-growth forest, it has deep leaf litter on the ground. Surprisingly we haven’t been picking up a lot of diversity here. There has been lots of Lyrebirds photographed as well as Wallabies and Foxes but little else. Potentially the camera is too high to pick up smaller species. I have made an adjustment to see if it makes any difference.

Tarra Bulga North West - Species Count
Tarra Bulga North West – Species Count

Camera 7 – Was in the same place as last time and once again it was prolific even though the vegetation is mainly scrubby regrowth with no large canopy trees. Again there were lots of cute mother Wallaby and Joey in pouch photos. There were more good shots of Long-nosed Bandicoots and Lyrebirds. Other birds were Pied Currawongs and Grey shrike-Thrushes. There were some busy Wombats and some handsome looking but evil Foxes no doubt sniffing around for a meal of fresh Bandicoot.

Balook West - Species Count
Balook West – Species Count

Camera 8 –No sign of any snakes this time, but similar results to last time at this site which was on the Eastern edge of Tarra Bulga. Lots of Lyrebird activity, Wombats, Wallabies and Echidnas as well as some Long-nosed Bandicoots and Foxes.

Tarra Bulga North East
Tarra Bulga North East – Species Count

Remote Camera Monitoring – Update Summer 2013

This post is a summary of the Remote Camera Monitoring results over December and January 2012/13

Camera  1 – Still out of action after it was attacked by an aggressive lyrebird.

Lyrebird who got overly interested in one of our Remote Cameras
Lyrebird who got overly interested in one of our Remote Cameras

Camera 2 – Located in mature Wet Forest in the Tarra Valley was quite a prolific site, with the camera picking up lots of small birds e.g. White-browed Scrub Wrens and Bassian and Grey-Shrike Thrushes, as well as mammals such as Antechinus and Long-nosed Bandicoots, unfortunately there were plenty of Foxes and a Feral Cat present. Also plenty of Wombats, Wallabies and some Brushtails.

Tarra Valley – Remote Camera Site

We recently moved one of our cameras down to a site in the Tarra Valley section of the park, to get a better idea of what wildlife is hanging around there. After the camera was checked the first time we had plenty of shots of Swamp Wallabies but nothing else apart from foxes. The camera was then moved a few metres to a new position where it could be set closer to the ground and the difference in the number of species photographed was quite remarkable. There are some great Long-nosed Bandicoot photos along with Antechinus and Rattus pictures, an Echidna and Possums (Not certain whether they are the Common Brush Tailed Possum of the Mountain Brush Tail (Bobuck) or whether we have both, The Bobuck’s have smaller more rounded ears.

Unfortunately there are still plenty of introduced predators at this site with Foxes and Feral Cats present. We have been recording quite a few cats with our monitoring lately.

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