Local and regional movements of the Australian white ibis Threskiornis molucca in Eastern Australia

Australian Bird Study Association Inc.
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Corella, 2011, 35 (4), pp. 89 - 94
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Little is known about the movements of Australian birds. Information is particularly scarce on large, aquatic birds, which are usually difficult to access and handle. Their movements are also often complex, and therefore difficult to Identify. Here we present data on the local and long distance movements of the Australian White Ibis Threskiornis molucca, a highly mobile bird, which as many other waterbirds, continues to decline In its traditional ranges in inland Australia. At the same time it has invaded coastal urban environments, where its high abundances cause many problems and require management. Our analysis of past and present banding studies reveals that Australian White Ibis travel throughout the urban environment and visit landfills, where they forage in large numbers. They also conduct long distance movements, which lead birds from breeding sites In south-eastern Australia along the eastern coast to regions further north (Queensland and Papua New Guinea). Young birds return to their hatching site, when sexually mature. Their preferences for landfills, high mobility, complex movements and current decline in inland Australia need to be considered, when developing and implementing management strategies for Australian White Ibis and ecologically similar birds.
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