Woodland birds in Australia are impacted by a plethora of threats, including habitat loss and degradation, livestock grazing, competition from native aggressive noisy miners and inappropriate fire regimes. As such, this ecological community of 200 species has been nominated for listing as threatened, with many species in decline. These birds play important functional roles in the woodland ecosystems, which themselves are threatened with collapse. It is essential we know how to effectively conserve these woodland birds, and understand which management actions result in recovery of this ecological community.

The initial project was funded by NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub, in collaboration with Prof Martine Maron, Michelle Gibson and many others at the University of Queensland. The details and resources about the main component of this work are described on the NESP website. A separate, but related, project focused on the effect of fire on woodland birds, described here.

Our research into evidence-based conservation for woodland birds is ongoing. Jessica Walsh is on the steering committee for the Temperate Woodland Bird Conservation Action Plan, coordinated by BirdLife Australia. Clare Bracey‘s PhD aims to understand how to conserve woodland birds in private protected areas.

Publications and resources

Gibson M, Maron M, Robinson N, Walsh J. 2021. Response of Australia’s woodland bird community to fire: a review and meta-analysis. NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub. Brisbane.

Gibson M, Maron M, Taws N, Simmonds JS, Walsh JC. 2021. Use of citizen science datasets to test effects of grazing exclusion and replanting on Australian woodland birds. Restoration Ecology:e13610.

Walsh JC, Gibson M, Maron M. 2021. Effectiveness of conservation interventions for Australian woodland birds: A systematic review of “what works” – Findings Factsheet. NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub. Brisbane (open access).

Fergusson K. 2020. Synthesising the effects of habitat loss on Australian woodland birds in agricultural landscapes: a quantitative systematic review. Honours Thesis. School of Biological Sciences, Monash University.