Raptor Research Grant

2020 Raptor Research Grant Recipients

The inaugural recipients of the raptor research grant have been decided. BirdLife Australia Raptor Group is pleased to announce that the following projects have been awarded funds:

Spatial and Population Ecology of the Letter-winged Kite

Lisa and Peter Nunn


This project aims to undertake surveys and monitoring of a Letter-winged Kite (Elanus scriptus) to gather key ecological information on this rare and threatened species. Information will be gathered on the species breeding system and colony structure, including frequency of breeding, gender role partitioning, immigration/emigration, relatedness within and between colonies and age at first breeding. The project also seeks to investigate potential threatening processes to the species to guide future conservation actions.

Analysis of the Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax) population and breeding & foraging habitats in parts of the Mid North of South Australia

Ian Falkenberg


This project will assess the Wedge-tailed Eagle population within a section of the Mid-North of South Australia with the aim of determining the level of turnover of eagles in windfarm areas. This will involve a behavioural and demographic survey of eagle populations in windfarm areas, and where human persecution has increased the level of threat to eagle populations.

The study will also involve the fitting of GPS Trackers to two Wedge-tailed Eagles following the breeding season, and several young will be colour banded to determine:

  • Productivity and nestling survival.
  • Juvenile movements post fledging and or adult movement outside the breeding season.
  • Determine temporal and spatial patterns of habitat use.

Square-tailed KiteInvestigation of old breeding sites in the New South Wales coastal region

Keith Fisher


In the 1990’s and early 2000’s, several breeding studies on the Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura) were published in the Australian Journal of Field Ornithology by Stephen Debus, Tony Bischoff, Hans Lutter and Greg Clancy. Keith Fisher aims to investigate these territories, report on nest movements and change, describe habitat change, and locate Square-tailed Kites in the region. This study will also serve as an investigation to the impact of the devastating summer bushfires on our apex avian predators.

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