Murray-Darling Basin Environmental Water Knowledge and Research Project: Waterbirds Theme Research Report

The research conducted by the MDB EWKR Waterbird Theme has produced new information to assist managers to better target water, vegetation and waterbird management to ensure ‘event readiness’ at sites between flooding events and to maximise recruitment. Maximising recruitment into the adult population depends on optimising the number of birds that nest, the number of chicks that fledge from each site, and the survival of those birds as juveniles, sub-adults and breeding adults. Information is needed quantifying these variables and what affects them – however the mobility of waterbirds and lack of information on their movements makes this difficult. Therefore, the MDB EWKR Waterbird Theme research activities included: detailed movement and habitat-use studies of individual birds over the duration of the EWKR project using tracking devices (satellite GPS transmitters); motion-sensing and time-lapse camera nest monitoring; on-ground tagged-nest and water depth monitoring; colony mapping; analysis of chick diet and energy sources; and modelling of chick energy requirements.