Spring – The Perfect Season for Dove Control

The introduced Spotted Turtle Dove
A steady trickle of feral Spotted Turtle Dove trapping records continues to make its way to the Land for Wildlife office. It’s pleasing to see that the community is continuing to target this avian invader. Recent figures include 50 trapped for the year thus far from a Garden for Wildlife member in Eastside and 37 in the last three months in LfW coordinator Jesse’s backyard in Northside.
The bad news is that these high numbers show that the feral doves are continuing to make Alice Springs a stronghold, displacing native birds and causing a nuisance as they do so.
Building dove traps

Breeding season (now!) is a great time to target feral doves, so if you’re not involved in the trapping program and would like to be, contact Chris, Matt or Jesse at Land for Wildlife. And remember to send us your catch figures so we can update our data to!

If you’re not thrilled about the idea of trapping birds, there are more passive methods to deter Spotted Turtle Doves from your backyard. If you have thick shrubbery and vegetation at your place, have a look around for any nesting doves. Turtle doves love to build their nests in dense, non-native vegetation such as palm fronds, rank Bouganvillea thickets and Pepper Trees. By removing such habitat and replacing it with native trees and shrubs, you can transform your garden from a haven for feral pests to a paradise for native birds and wildlife.

 Turtle Dove nest and egg. Photo; J.M. Garg

Alternatively, if you enjoy the shade your Pepper Tree provides in the hot weather, simply carryout regular ‘nest inspections’ in likely places. If you find a Turtle Dove nest (a very simple platform of sticks placed on a branch), remove it. Tip out any eggs that might’ve been laid. After several attempts and constant disturbance, the birds will soon get the message and move elsewhere. 

If you find any Turtle Dove nests or eggs, let us know. The information will help us build a picture of where the strongholds of this introduced species are in Alice Springs.

Survey 2012 – Biodiversity on Land for Wildlife Properties

Hi there Land for Wildlifers.

Well, it’s been a while since our last post, with a busy field season taking up most of coordinators’ time over the past few months. LfW has been recording a few milestones in Alice Springs however, with a third coordinator, Matt Digby, taken on to help ease the work load and some prominent properties, including Ayers Rock Resort and the Alice Springs Golf Club, signing up to the program.

Before the hot summer weather really hits us however, we have one outstanding project to get done – our annual LfW biodiversity survey. Every year, properties are selected from amongst our growing membership base for a detailed four day flora, fauna and landscape survey. This project involves trapping and observing wildlife on properties, recording flora species present in remnant vegetation and mapping of landscapes and land units. This data is then collated and presented in a report which is accessible to LfW and GfW members and anyone else who may be interested.

The information we collect is a valuable tool in determining if management practices carried out by property owners are effective in encouraging the diversity of wildlife and vegetation on rural properties in Alice Springs.

The 2012 survey is scheduled to take place at Fenn Gap west of Simpson’s Gap on Larapinta Drive. This year, the survey is happening in cooperation with the Arid Lands Environment Centre’s Biodiversity Matters program of workshops (http://alec.org.au/programs-2/healthy-arid-lands/biodiversity-conservation.html).

On Saturday 13th October, LfW coordinators together with ALEC will hold the final workshop in the Biodiversity Matters program, centred around surveying techniques and data collection, giving you the opportunity to be involved in important biological field work.

For more information or to get involved with this year’s survey, contact Chris, Jesse or Matt at LfW on 89 555 222 or email lfw@lowecol.com.au If you’d like to know more about the Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC) and Biodiversity Matters go to alec.org.au and follow the links.

At left are some images of the 2010 and 2011 surveys. Pictured from top are Golden Everlasting daisies (Bracteantha bracteata), Red-chested Button Quail (Turnix pyrrhothorax), Silky Glycine (Glycine canescens), Euro (Macropus robustus) and the blossom of a Bush Orange (Capparis mitchellii).