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A Transect Method to Count Birds in Eucalypt Forest


A transect method used to count forest birds in south-easternAustralia 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 ol 60 m radius. Tis transect requires iwo 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 ol 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 toward 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 problem of lhe 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 slte and better species lists than shorter counts of smaller areas. lt has proved useful in providing a broad database in surveys of  large areas containing a variety ot forest habitat and wiere knowledge of the avifauna is poor


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