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Title: Ecology, impacts and management of pest birds
Author: Tracey, John Paul
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2012
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Pests can impact significantly upon the economy, the environment and on human and animal health. However, for pest birds there are surprisingly few studies of these impacts and how to reduce them. The aim of this thesis is to advance our understanding of the ecology, impacts, and management of pest birds using case studies for each of the three main impacts. In considering economic impacts I estimate pest bird abundance, describe a novel method for measuring bird damage, and evaluate the efficacy of lethal and non-lethal methods in vineyards and orchards. Using data across 185 property years, netting was found to be the most effective in reducing bird damage. Shooting was not as effective but was one-third of the cost and had 13% lower damage compared with nil-treatments. Scaring with electronic devices and visual deterrents had no effect on bird damage. Despite their widespread use, lethal methods had limited effectiveness for reducing pest abundance. In considering environmental impacts introduced mallards on Lord Howe Island were used as a case study. Phenotypic characteristics suggest that mallards have supplanted the native Pacific black duck on Lord Howe Island. Management alternatives are evaluated and discussed. In considering health-related impacts wild birds and avian influenza in Australia was used as a case study. Here, the ecology of Australia’s Anseriformes, and the epidemiology, modes of transmission, and the factors influencing the prevalence of avian influenza in Australia’s wild birds are investigated. Risk profiles to improve the efficiency and relevance of wild-bird surveillance are also provided. The case studies presented demonstrate that an understanding of a pest’s ecology, efficient measures of impacts, and thorough evaluations of surveillance and management strategies are essential for effectively managing their economic, environmental and health-related impacts.
Supervisor: White, Piran Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available