Magpie Geese on mango orchards update

A second field season is about to kick off for the Charles Darwin University Magpie Goose Research Team. PhD candidate Amélie Corriveau is studying their movements, food resources and behaviour to address the ongoing issues with these birds on mango orchards in Northern Australia.

The research team is working in collaboration with growers and industry partners to identify more efficient management strategies.

Magpie Goose fitted with GPS tracking device and identification collar during 2016 field season. (Photo credit: Damien Stanioch).

Magpie Goose fitted with GPS tracking device and identification collar during 2016 field season. (Photo credit: Damien Stanioch).

“Improving the understanding of Magpie Goose biology and ecology will help to develop targeted management strategies that are sustainable into the future,” Amélie said.

Using GPS tracking of Magpie Geese, DNA analyses of stomach content and field observations, Amélie wants her research findings to have practical applications.

“Research outcomes will inform growers on when, where, and for how long management actions should occur and what other resources around mango orchards may be attracting Magpie Geese.

“This year, we are hoping to track the movements of these birds from a variety of locations, sample stomach content from more individuals throughout the whole mango season, and observe behaviour at different times of the day.

“We will also investigate what other species are involved in crop damage and will assess the effectiveness of chemical deterrents,” Amélie said.

The research team will also evaluate different ways to quantify crop damage to help growers improve decision-making when it comes to the application of management actions.

This project has been funded by Hort Innovation using the mango research and development levy and funds from the Australian Government. It is conducted in collaboration with the Northern Territory Government, the NT Farmers Association, the Australian Mango Industry Association, and the NT Field and Game Association.

For more information on this research please email amelie.corriveau@cdu.edu.au.

Article submitted by Charles Darwin University.