||BEST is a community group established in the Mid North of South Australia to assist with on-ground works for threatened species conservation and protection. One of the major projects for the Biodiversity and Endangered Species Team (BEST), a Friend of Parks Inc group, is monitoring declining woodland birds in the Mid North, including the Clare Valley, Tothill Ranges, and the Southern Flinders Ranges.
Species targeted include, but are not limited to, the Brown Treecreeper, the State Vulnerable Diamond Firetail, Crested Shrike-tit, Hooded Robin; the Regionally Vulnerable Scarlet Robin and White-winged Chough, and the Grey Currawong, Restless Flycatcher, and Grey Fantail.
The Woodland Bird Routine Monitoring Programme was established to give volunteers the opportunity to survey birds at suitable woodland and grassy woodland sites across the Region, with the data collected in a manner that it can be used by the Declining Woodland Birds Recovery Team (and also Birds Australia and DEH) as baseline and on-going records of local bird presence and diversity (etc). The program is two-fold in that it gives volunteers the opportunity to assist a local conservation program in a very meaningful way whilst also providing data to the Recovery Team which they couldn't otherwise afford to collect (i.e. they just don't have the money for on-going professional surveys).
The Birds Australia Bird Atlassing in Regions Project is a pilot study of the potential to involve volunteers in long term scientific monitoring of bird populations to detect trends and answer specific questions. It has been set up in ten Natural Resource Management (NRM) and Catchment Management Association (CMA) regions in the eastern and southern states. Each region has its own project and experimental design. They have attempted to make sure each region is answering a different style of question. Birds Australia have contributed the GIS and statistical expertise to produce good experimental design in each region.
The Northern & Yorke project centres on the pre-existing Declining Woodland Birds project. Birds Australia are providing a framework for the BEST team to continue the monitoring they have started, and to provide a direction and focus for that work. Hopefully by continuing to monitor specific sites 4 times a year on an ongoing basis, we can begin to detect trends in bird populations - are some declining, are some increasing, are some shifting in range in response to something (like climate change) Survey was undertaken from 2005-2008.