Restoration plantings in highly fragmented agricultural landscapes aim to increase habitat quality and connectivity for native wildlife, including threatened and declining woodland birds. Previous studies have found that restoration plantings can increase bird species richness and abundance on farms, but we still know very little about the survival and persistence of bird populations in these landscapes. Donna’s PhD research focused on this critical knowledge gap by studying bird breeding success and persistence in restoration plantings on farms in the south-west slopes bioregion of NSW. She compared breeding activity, nesting success, habitat-use and site fidelity of woodland birds in plantings and remnant woodland patches, and explored the effects of different planting characteristics (e.g. size and shape) on these variables. Her research provides new insights into how we assess the effectiveness of habitat restoration projects.
About the speaker
Donna Belder is an ecologist with a passion for wildlife and conservation. She received her Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in environmental biology from the University of Adelaide in 2013. Donna moved to Canberra in 2015 to commence her PhD, working with primary supervisor Professor David Lindenmayer as part of the NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub.