Birds and environmental management in Australia 1901–2001

Libby Robin*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    This article reviews the central role of birds in environmental management in Australia throughout the twentieth century. Ai well as being indicators of the health of the environment, birds are also central to many ideas about the environment, as examples from three periods of environmental history show. In the early federation era around 1901, the central concern was for the birds themselves, threatened by the plumage trade. In the mid-century years, there was a growing concern for habitat, as conservation ideas became dominated by national parks. The last decades of the twentieth century, the ‘age of biodiversity’, have seen the emphasis move to species-richness. Because birds are conspicuous, diurnal and much loved by people, they have dominated ideas about environmental management. The advantages of using birds as environmental indicators include free labour' and community participation, but these also magnify responsibilities to ensure that the science that is built on amateur time, freely given, will give the best possible result for the environment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)105-113
    Number of pages9
    JournalAustralian Journal of Environmental Management
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


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