A Transect Method to Count Birds Eucalypt Forest

A transect method used to count forest birds in south-eastern Australia is described and its usefulness and limitations discussed. The method combines mapping along a transect 420 m long and 120 m wide, with a point count of 60 m radius. The transect requires two hours, one hour of which is spent on the point count. Four counts were necessary at each site with six counts required in an area with a richer avifauna. Steps were taken to reduce variation and bias due to weather conditions, time of day and differences between observers. The point count was included to allow comparisons with similar counts from areas of habitat too small for a full transect. The disadvantage was that the proportionally greater time spent on the point count biased the overall transect count towards birds recorded at the point. In common with other methods, the effectiveness of the census method was limited by the sporadic occurrence of many of the bird species in the area, and by the problems of the numbers of birds recorded varying with density of vegetation, season, species of birds and duration of the census. The procedure is time consuming but results in more information on bird disposition at each site and better species lists than do shorter counts of smaller areas. It has proved useful in providing a broad data base in surveys of large areas containing a variety of forest habitats and where knowledge of the avifauna is poor.

>> Download Abstract | File Size: 76 KB
>> Download Complete PDF | File Size: 1 MB