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Impact of bushfires on seabird breeding islands in southwest Australia: a case study for developing a community-based model in adaptive management

Citation

Lavers, JL and Carey, GR and Guilfoyle, DR and Reynolds, R, Impact of bushfires on seabird breeding islands in southwest Australia: a case study for developing a community-based model in adaptive management, Human Ecology pp. 1-11. ISSN 0300-7839 (2022) [Refereed Article]


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DOI: doi:10.1007/s10745-022-00338-0

Abstract

Traditional burning regimes have long been employed to enhance biodiversity and mitigate high-intensity wildfires. The link between changes in the distribution, success, and timing of breeding in seabirds and climatic and oceanographic variation in the marine environment has been established, with migratory seabirds less able to respond to climate variability than resident species. While climate-driven changes can also occur on seabird breeding islands, few data are available regarding potential impacts. Here we investigate the frequency and severity of bushfires on seabird breeding islands in Western Australia, regarding the 2020 fire on Figure of Eight Island in the Recherche Archipelago. A lack of quantitative, historical surveys limited our ability to quantify the number of shearwaters lost in this event. However, a review of available data suggests thousands of birds die due to burning every one or two years across the Archipelago. On Figure of Eight, shearwater burrow occupancy and density were low 12 months post-burn (0.25 and 0.02 0.03, respectively), with minimal evidence of recovery (very few burrows detected) 23 months post-burn. We discuss opportunities to develop an adaptive, community-based program for reinstating collaborative, cultural methods of fire management and monitoring regimes on seabird breeding islands in Australia.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:seabird ecology, traditional burning, Indigenous knowledge, island conservation, bushfire risk
Research Division:Indigenous Studies
Research Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental knowledges and management
Research Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental conservation
Objective Division:Indigenous
Objective Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture
Objective Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander connection to land and environment
UTAS Author:Lavers, JL (Dr Jennifer Lavers)
ID Code:150620
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2022-06-23
Last Modified:2022-06-23
Downloads:0

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