Data collected from this year's Aussie Bird Count will prove especially important to the Bundaberg Region, with residents asked to not only keep track of native backyard birds but also the Indian myna population.
The annual event by BirdLife Australia is being held from now until 23 October and is designed to gather information to help the organisation track and protect native birds as part of conservation efforts.
Bundaberg Regional Council has signed up to participate and is encouraging local birdwatchers to assist in also tracking the Indian myna species to help inform the Land Protection team as part of their management program.
Indian myna's (Acridotheres tristis) are an aggressive invader which will quickly move into an area forcing native birds out.
They are listed as one of the world's most invasive pest species.
These pest birds have thrived in and around the townships of Childers, Apple Tree Creek and Cordalba for many years.
The increasing numbers of Indian myna birds is a result of its opportunistic behaviour and aggressiveness towards other species, bullying them for food and out competing them for nesting sites.
They are a pest and a threat to native birds and wildlife.
Residents can report sightings to Council’s Land Protection team, while approved landholders can be supplied with cages to trap birds with a bounty paid for each bird received.
For more information on this program go to www.bundaberg.qld.gov.au/weeds-pest-animals/pest-animals/7
Parrots also a hot topic in Aussie Bird Count
Parrots are also being closely monitored as part of this year's Aussie Bird Count.
Yearly data collected since the onset of The Count in 2014 has given the organisation solid insight into how Australian parrots are faring.
However, existing data poses questions about the future of vibrant native parrot species, including the Eastern Rosella and the Australian Ringneck.
BirdLife Australia’s National Public Affairs Manager Sean Dooley said there was an urgent need for new bird data due to inconsistent trends across the nation, particularly amongst parrots.
“Participation in this year’s Count will enable bird experts to understand more about state-based trends, identify if these trends are continuing for declining species, and help us determine the reasons for the declines,” he said.
Taking a count at the same time each year enables BirdLife Australia to have access to a snapshot of how Australian birds are faring, which helps to identify trends over time and gauge the overall health of the environment.
“We’d love to see Aussies of all ages from each and every state and territory get involved. The more people we have counting across the week, the more data we have so we can learn more about how parrots are faring, and to help protect them for future generations”, Sean said.
There are also more than $10,000 worth of prizes being given away as part of this year’s count.
For more information on the Aussie Backyard Bird Count go to www.aussiebirdcount.org.au.