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          Member | Join now

          By joining the biggest community of bird lovers in Australia, you can help us make a positive impact on the future of our native birdlife. The members of BirdLife Australia, along with our supporters and partners, have been powerful advocates for native birds and the conservation of their habitats since 1901.

          We are also the meeting ground for everyone with an interest in birds from the curious backyard observer to the dedicated research scientist. It doesn’t matter what your interest in birds is or how much you know about them, your membership will offer you the opportunity to increase your awareness and enjoyment.

          Birdlife Australia would be delighted to welcome you as a new member and we look forward to sharing our news and achievements with you throughout the coming year.

          Our Programs


          ‘Southern Cassowary’ was the winning image from last year's Bird Portrait Category, in the @BirdlifeOz Photography… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

          @GichingaWa Amazing huh! "The physiological secret to long migrations does not depend on a single 'magic' adaptatio… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

          More evidence that conservation works. Breeding seabirds on Macca have also bounced back tremendously since the int… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

          State of Australia’s Birds report series

          The State of Australia’s Birds report series is one of Australia’s most comprehensive series tracking trends in bird populations and their health.

          First produced in 2003, the Reports are a go-to guide on the status of Australia’s bird populations, designed to inform decision making on land management, and direct conservation and policy that affects Australia’s birds and biodiversity.

          Thousands of volunteer citizen scientists around Australia make these reports possible, collecting and tracking the data that we use to identify threats and solutions.? Their dedication, time, and skill are critical to our bird monitoring programs.

          2015 : State of Australia’s Birds: Headline Trends for Terrestrial Birds

          Launched on 15 July 2015 at Melbourne Museum by Environment Minister the Hon Greg Hunt MP, this report is marks the beginning of a new era in the series, introducing the ground-breaking Australian Bird Index.

          2019 Waterbird Indices for National Reporting

          Waterbirds and shorebirds are uniquely adapted to the temporary and coastal wetlands of the Australian continent. Unfortunately, Australia’s wetlands and their associated bird communities are under increasing pressure from over-extraction of water, climate change, and intensifying land use patterns. Waterbird and shorebird population trends are highly indicative of the state of Australian wetland habitat as they change in time with the boom and bust cycles of Australia’s temporary wetlands while also reflecting the state of coastal and other permanent wetlands.

          In order to keep track of these bird communities and through them the health of our wetlands there is a strong need for robust, long-term monitoring data, a need that is not easily aligned with highly dynamic bird populations capable of utilising the wetland landscape at a continental scale. Such data needs to be able to inform species specific local management decisions (e.g. environmental watering) as well as track species populations and progress toward conservation targets. Phase 2 of the Australian Bird Index reviewed all available waterbird data to develop a nationwide index reflecting population trends at different spatial and temporal scales.

          Key stakeholders were approached to contribute monitoring data to allow large scale analysis and index development, resulting in a collection of over 4 million waterbird and shorebird observations, half of which were suitable for further analyses. Several different analytical approaches were tested to capture the huge temporal and spatial variation inherent in waterbird data.


          Waterbird Indices for National Reporting
          (2 MB)


          Appendix A. Alternative methods attempted  (2 MB)
          Appendix B. Comparisons of coastal and inland trends  (3 MB)
          Appendix C. East Australian Waterbird Survey trends  (included with B)
          Appendix D. Trends within drainage divisions  (5 MB)
          Appendix E. Trends at Shorebird Areas, Ramsar Sites, Key Biodiversity Areas, or River Regions (1 MB)
          Appendix F. National species trends and spatial distribution of data (8 MB)
          Appendix G. Monitoring adequacy and trend reliability table (<1 MB)
          Appendix H. Scientific names (<1 MB)

          Please note: The resolution of images in Appendix F have been significantly reduced to allow for a reasonable download size. The original (>500 MB) can be requested by emailing wetlands@www.bianchun.tw.

          2015 Headline Trends for Terrestrial Birds

          SOAB 2015 CoverA unique collaboration and innovative analysis assessing  the State of Australia’s birds, this Headline report introduces Australia’s ground breaking long-term study to track trends in terrestrial bird populations over 15 years – the Terrestrial Bird Index.

          A first for the southern hemisphere, the Terrestrial Bird Index is the first index of the Australian Bird Index - a series of indices for Australia’s major bird groups that allows us to understand which bird groups and species are in trouble, in which regions of Australia, helping us understand more about our natural world. This Headline report and the in-depth regional reports behind it (available below) provide that insight. 

          The Headline Report for Terrestrial Birds tells us that while some regional indices are consistent with what is commonly understood about the health of birds groups, other indices are revealing surprising unknown patterns, which challenge our common wisdom.
          With the necessary support, BirdLife Australia aims to develop three further suites of indices in coming years representing the other major bird groups in Australia:  shorebirds, seabirds and waterbirds. Together these Australian Bird Indices will form a powerful base for working towards a bright future for Australia’s birds

          Headline Report

          Headline Trends for Terrestrial Birds
          (6 MB)


          Measuring the state of Australia’s terrestrial birds
          How Australian Bird Indices (ABIs) are made

          (6.5 MB)

          Regional Reports

          Arid Zone
          terrestrial species ABIs and species trends in detail

          (32 MB, 75pp)

          Eastern Mallee
          terrestrial species ABIs and species trends in detail

          (24 MB, 54pp)

          South-eastern Mainland
          terrestrial species ABIs and species trends in detail

          (33 MB, 69pp)

          East Coast
          terrestrial species ABIs and species trends in detail

          (40 MB, 83pp)

          2010 Islands and Birds

          Compiled by James O'Connor and Julie Kirkwood


          SOAB 2010This report features articles on a small number of Australia’s precious islands, but it is only a snapshot of the situation, as more than 8,300 islands occur within Australia’s jurisdiction. Indeed, only a small number of these islands are ever visited regularly by people who record biological data, and precious little is known about most of them. We are left to make inferences about what is happening on those unknown islands from what is happening on the few we have studied. Nevertheless, some distinct themes emerge from the articles in this report: a high level of endemism means islands represent a critical biodiversity ark; even small increments of climate change-induced sea-level rise will have grave consequences for low-lying islands; and invasive species have already caused widespread devastation of many islands’ biological resources and ecological processes, and continue to do so at an alarming rate. We tend to know much more about islands inhabited by humans, of course, and the processes on inhabited islands are likely to be distinct. Patterns of invasion of islands by novel species, for example, are bound to be heavily influenced by human habitation: by contrast, climate change and sea-level rise will affect any island on the basis of its physical situation. Opportunities for mitigation, too, may depend on whether an island is inhabited. For instance, most examples of successful eradications and reintroductions have, so far, come from uninhabited islands, although there are some notable exceptions.

          While we may know little about many of our islands, what we do know is that, by their nature, they constitute a unique and precious biological resource; and that, while they are extremely vulnerable to degradation and extinctions, they also represent unique opportunities for providing real and effective conservation measures for the protection of a large proportion of our natural heritage.

          2009 Restoring Woodland Habitats for Birds

          Compiled by David Paton and James O'Connor


          SOAB 2009The 2009 report focuses on revegetation for woodland birds, particularly those in agricultual landscapes. Australia's woodlands -- especially in the temperate south-eastern and south-western wheat and sheep belts -- are among the most extensively cleared, fragmented and severely degraded habitats on the continent. And Australia's woodland birds, including many species generally regarded as common and widespread, are declining at an alarming rate. This publication concentrates on issues facing the revegetation of Australia's temperate and sutropical woodlands; particularly those that, historically, have overlapped with areas of intensive agriculture. There are a multitude of issues and a vast array of literature on this subject, and no attempt has been made at exhaustive coverage. The report merely introduces some of the key themes relevant to woodland birds -- Native vegetation clearance; Revegetation; Regrowth; Spatial attributes; Heterogeneity; and Extinction debt.

          2008 A Five Year Review

          Compiled by Penny Olsen


          SOAB 2008The 2008 report focuses on trends in bird populations as revealed by about 50 long-term monitoring programs running for up to 40 years. Thousands of volunteers, coordinated by a handful of individuals and groups, collected much of the data. This is an extraordinary expression of concern for Australia's birds and their habitats. Without such long-term commitment, how are we to understand which bird species and communities are truly in trouble, where to focus conservation efforts, what environmental management works and whether our management of the land is sustainable? Although the report deals with birds, the findings have much broader implications for nature and society -- birds are indicators of national quality of life. The latest results show that populations of many common bird species are in decline, evidence that the natural environment is continuing to be eroded through over-use, underinvestment in its care and restoration, and undervaluing of its importance.

          2007 Birds in a Changing Climate

          Compiled by Penny Olsen


          SOAB 2007The theme of this year's SOAB is climate change. Along with the rest of the planet, Australia's climate has undergone recent shifts ascribed to a build-up of greenhouse gases released by human activities in the past 150 years. There has been a consistent warming trend, both on land and at sea, which will continue even if greenhouse emissions are stabilised, and the rate change is expected to be greater than in the past. Simulations by global climate models point to a further rise averaging 1°C by 2030 across much of Australia, and even hotter inland. By 2070, temperatures are expected to average 2-5°C higher than in 1990, with the largest increases in summer. To put these changes in perspective, a further 1°C rise in average temperature will make Melbourne's climate like that currently experienced at Wagga Wagga in southern New South Wales. Changes in rainfall are spatially and seasonally variable, but projections are for less water and run-off in nearly all catchments by 2030 and a 30% decrease in rainfall across southern Australia.

          Climate change is bringing mixed news for Australia's birds. Some species will benefit, others will be disadvantaged over and above the other long-standing threats they face. We don't know how quickly birds can adapt to the changes, but we think that many will and we know that some won't. To facilitate adaptation, connectivity is the catch-cry: reconnecting natural landscapes and habitats and connecting biodiversity to carbon policies and procedures.

          2006 Invasive Species

          Compiled by Penny Olsen, Andrew Silcocks and Michael Weston


          SOAB 2006Australia has hundreds of invasive plants and animals, both native and introduced. Some were brought purposely, others hitchhiked; the majority have taken the many opportunities offered by human alteration of the landscape. Invasive species are considered to be the greatest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss; they also exact a massive toll on agricultural production.

          This fourth report in the SOAB series presents examples of just a few of the issues and opinions concerning invasive species in Australia, particularly as they relate to birds. The problems are complex and the management options limited. Invasive species are widely regarded as second only to habitat loss as the greatest threat to birds. Yet, only rarely is the real impact of invasive species known. Further, the effectiveness of control actions against invasives is seldom measured in terms of the reduction in the environmental or economic damage caused.

          2005 Woodlands and Birds

          Compiled by Penny Olsen, Michael Weston, Chris Tzaros and Andrew Silcocks


          SOAB 2005This third annual report focuses on woodland birds. Woodlands once covered one-third of the continent. The 'great Australian bush', with its kookaburras and magpies, is part of our national identity. Yet, in the south much of the bush has given way to agriculture. In the north, the trees may remain but savannas are degraded by livestock grazing, the effect of which is exacerbated by invasive grasses in combination with inappropriate fire regimes.

          It should come as no surprise that woodland plant and animal communities are the most threatened in the nation. Clearing reforms are welcome and restoration is underway, but temperate woodland remnants continue to erode and bird species losses seem probable in coming years. Across the northern woodlands, seed-eaters will continue to decline unless grazing, invasive pasture grasses and fire are better managed. In the agricultural lands the situation is critical, with cessation of incremental clearing, lessening of grazing pressure and restoration of woodlands priorities for action. This includes the return of structural and spatial diversity: trees, shrubs, litter, ground cover and other elements in a patchy mosaic. Putting the bush back into our bushlands.

          2004 Water, Wetlands and Birds

          Compiled by Penny Olsen and Michael Weston


          SOAB 2004This report examines the status of birds associated with Australia's wetlands at both national and regional scales. It highlights the main threats they face, the species in need of attention, and the national and international efforts to protect them. The performance of governments is examined by their response to the identification of species of high conservation concern in the Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000.

          2003 The State of Australia's Birds

          Compiled by Penny Olsen, Michael Weston, Ross Cunningham and Andrew Silcocks


          SOAB 2003SOAB 2003 is the first in a series of reports summarising the fortunes of Australia's birds. It presents population trends and changes for Australian birds over various time spans - some extending from the 1960s - leading up to the present. It is intended that this introductory SOAB report sets the baseline for five-yearly overviews, informed by the Atlas & Birdata project and many other monitoring programs. These overviews will be interspersed with themed reports on topics such as habitat change, freshwater birds, seabirds, shorebirds, and the fate of birds on islands.