The Woodhen Census Survey has been conducted annually since 1986 and is one of the longest ongoing bird surveys in Australia. The survey gives the Island community an indication on the status of the population and monitors if there is any increase or decrease in the number of birds each year.
Banding the birds enables the bander to identify individual birds and in most cases the bird is only caught once within its lifetime. This helps to track their population numbers and movement throughout the Island, monitors their behaviour and aids in the protection of the species.
The data obtained over the past 30 years suggests that we currently have a healthy, stable population but that the population is still under ongoing threats such as predation by owls and rats, competition for food by rodents, secondary poisoning from the current rodent control program and being hit by vehicles.
The continued support and involvement of Island residents during these surveys is greatly appreciated and the community’s efforts contribute to the successful recovery and continued survival of the Woodhen. The Island community and all those involved must be congratulated for their efforts in helping to care for this endangered species.
This year, the Board’s environmental staff will be commencing the annual Woodhen Survey on Monday 20 November 2017. The survey which covers the entire Island aims to be completed within 2 weeks (depending on weather). During this time Board staff will need to access private leases in the settlement area.
To ensure accurate records are maintained, it is very important that every Woodhen in the settlement area is recorded if possible. Any information you can give Board staff regarding the Woodhens you have seen around your home will be greatly appreciated (for example, recording the band colours or band numbers of the Woodhens and passing this information on to Board staff).
Each banded mature Woodhen should have either 4 bands (1 metal band and 1 coloured band on the left leg and 2 coloured bands on the right leg or 1 metal band on the left leg and a yellow numbered band on the right leg).
If you want to schedule in a day and time for Board staff to access your lease during the program itinerary, please contact one of the Environment Unit Staff on 6563 2066. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience that the survey may cause and thank you all again for your participation in this important recovery program.