Research Projects

This page presents current research and monitoring projects on Brolgas and Australian Sarus Cranes, as well as wetland and rangeland studies directly related to crane habitat issues.

Research students, catchment groups, birdwatching groups monitoring cranes in wetlands, and others, are welcome to post project summaries here for Ozcranes readers – please contact us. Projects are grouped geographically from north to south, with projects needing volunteers listed first in each group.

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← Logo for projects needing volunteers


Research and monitoring projects in far north Queensland

Far north Queensland covers the area north from about Ingham (18.6500° S, 146.1667° E on the coast), west to the Queensland-northern Territory border. This includes all the main habitat areas for breeding and non-breeding Sarus Cranes in Australia and some significant Brolga habitat.

1 | Atherton Tablelands Crane Count 2009 --

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Comments Volunteers welcome. Long-term monitoring of the wintering Sarus Crane population in the Atherton Tablelands IBA.

2 | Sarus Crane & Brolga interactions and interbreeding

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Comments Contributions from birdwatchers and others are very welcome, all help will be fully acknowledged.

3 | Sarus history project

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Comments Birdwatchers, writers and people who remember cranes on the Tablelands including during WW2 are very welcome to contribute, all help will be fully acknowledged.

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4 | Gulf of Carpentaria aerial counts

Enquiries: Contact John Grant.

5 & 6 | Annual recruitment and winter feeding habitat, Sarus Cranes on the Atherton Tableland

Comments The mean annual recruitment rate (the number of juveniles with adults each year) is approximately 6%, considered low for cranes. Recruitment results 1997-2002 were published in 2005. With feeding habitat, results so far indicate Sarus Cranes feed most frequently on maize stubble, less so on well-grazed pasture, and occasionally on cane trash. Watch Ozcranes for more news.

7 | Maturation stages of immature Sarus Cranes

Comments More in Ozcranes Knowledge Gaps 2.

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Completed projects, far north Queensland

These projects are now in the analysis and write-up stage, enquiries: Elinor Scambler

1 | Crane Counts 1997-2008

2 | Sarus Crane Access database & GIS

Comments The first consistent long-term population study of Australian Sarus Cranes, Ozcranes: NQ Crane Counts» and associated database.

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North Queensland

Covers the area from about Ingham (18.65° S 146.16° E, south to Rockhampton 23.37° S 150.51° E on the coast: and west to the border). This area includes very significant coastal and inland breeding and wintering areas for the northern Brolga population

1 | Townsville Town Common Conservation Park wetland restoration – monitoring

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Murray River: Riverina

This area covers the Murray-Darling basin in northern Victoria and southern New South Wales, west of about Albury (36.08° S 146.91° E). A map of the whole basin can be downloaded from the managing water authority.

1 | Bitterns Boom in Rice: Management of farm breeding wetlands for endangered bitterns (as well as Brolgas)

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Comments Matthew's earlier work with landholders in the same areas showed the Brolga is an effective communication tool for promoting wetland conservation and that efforts to conserve Brolga wetlands protect many other species, the new bittern project is expected to achieve similar benefits.

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Southwest Victoria

Southwest Victoria region stretches from about Geelong (38.15° S 144.35° E) in the east, west to the Victoria-South Australia border, and N to about 37.05° S.

1 | South West Victoria Brolga Project: Brolgas & windfarms

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Comments Proposed major wind farm develoments raise questions for the Brolga's survival in SW Victoria, where numbers of immatures in flocks are already low. Existing threats include wetland degradation and foxes.

2 & 3 | Southwest Brolga Counts and Brolga Recovery Group

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Comments Volunteers welcome. Results are posted at BIRD under Surveys.

Brolga Recovery Group

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