eBird data used for research in Australia

By Richard Alcorn October 28, 2020
Purple-crowned Fairywren Malurus coronatus

eBird regularly receives applications from researchers, teachers, community groups, environmental planners and private citizens to download data from the eBird database for research purposes. Here we present a selection of applications received in the three months prior to October 2020 to illustrate how eBird data are being used for research and conservation across the country.

Yarra Ranges Council: The objective of the Biodiversity Investigation Project is to create a baseline biodiversity assessment to determine the current state of biodiversity in the Yarra Ranges Shire and inform the council’s biodiversity strategic plan.

University of the Sunshine Coast: To use occurrence records from eBird to create species distribution models for Masked and Sooty Owls in South East Queensland.

University of Melbourne: Students will be undertaking several bird surveys throughout the greater Melbourne region of Victoria. We will be augmenting survey data with historical data in eBird to perform analyses.

BirdLife Australia: Data from July 2019 to June 2020 for the Atlas of Australian Birds.

Charles Darwin University: Assessment of the IUCN conservation status of Purple-crowned Fairywren (subspecies macgillivrayi found around the Gulf of Carpentaria) for the Action Plan for Australian Threatened Birds 2020.

Australis Biological: eBird data was sought to determine if avifauna species of significance present in the Point Danger Coastal Reserve could be adversely affected by planned weed control efforts which will target high risk environmental weeds. Several species were identified and works have taken into account their habitat needs.

University of Western Australia: Lake McLarty is a primarily rainfall-filled wetland that is now drier for longer periods due to declining rainfall in south-western Australia, which reduces its value for waterbirds. The eBird data are used to identify which species and, and how many of each species, utilise the lake at different water levels and at different times of the year. The aim is to add water to the lake in the future to reduce the annual period when the lake is dry and the eBird data will enable us to predict how much water needs to be added to ensure the lake provides the best and most productive habitat for waterbirds.