PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE- Michael Kenneth Todd
2014- 2016 Regional Biodiversity Conservation Officer (Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW) 2012- 2013 Grad. Dip. Education (UTAS) 2007- 2012 PhD (University of Tasmania & Co-operative Research Centre for Forestry)
- Ecology of the Tasmanian Masked Owl
2008- ongoing Specialist Lecturer (School of Zoology, University of Tasmania)
- Ecology of Tasmanian Birds- TASMANIAN FAUNA (KZA215)
2005- ongoing Photography Business (Wildlifing)
- Ongoing wildlife image and sound business.
- Photographs have been provided for publications including the Philadelphia Inquirer, Wingspan, Sun Herald, ARKive, Queensland Cotton, Department of Environment and Conservation and community groups like the Boorowa Courthouse and schools.
- Publications include:
Todd, M.K. (2006) Monkey-faced Owls of Awaba, WINGSPAN, 16(1): March 2006.
Todd, M.K. (2006) Prey Partitioning and Behaviour of Breeding Masked Owls Tyto novaehollandiae on the Central Coast of New South Wales. AUSTRALIAN FIELD ORNITHOLOGY, 23(4): 186-191.
2005- 2007 Vegetation Officer (Lake Macquarie City Council)
- Lake Macquarie City Vegetation Mapping using High Resolution Aerial Photography and Geographic Information Systems for Bushfire Prevention Planning and Conservation Priorities.
- Mapping of wildlife corridor networks through Lake Macquarie city.
- Development Assessments- Flora and Fauna
2006 Field Researcher (The University of Newcastle)
- Microbial Carriage in Birds. Carrying out the field component involving the capture and taking of samples from migratory waders and ducks in the Lower Hunter Estuary. These samples are then analysed by microbiologists for the presence or otherwise of viruses including avian influenza.
2003- ongoing Ornithological Consultant (Various clients including)
- NSW NPWS (2003-2004)- Special Area Vertebrate Fauna Surveys for the Sydney Catchment Authority Special Areas which are joint-managed by the SCA and the NPWS. Involved using a variety of fauna survey methodologies in the restricted access water catchment areas west and south of Sydney.
- Forestry Tasmania (2007)- Tasmanian Masked Owl Surveys.
2001-03 Biodiversity Planning Officer (NSW NPWS)
- Managed and operated the Riverina Biodiversity Project from the Riverina Regional Office of the NPWS at Griffith. Assessing conservation priorities in the Riverina Bioregion. In particular this position involved the following:
- Planning and co-ordinating of a series of expert panels to delineate High Conservation Value (HCV) areas in the Riverina bioregion.
- Assessment of the conservation status of vegetation communities in the bioregion.
- Recommendation of properties for purchase by the NPWS. The project has resulted in the purchase of 4 properties as national parks to date.
- Survey of mallee communities in the Nombinnie block of central NSW. The surveys discovered 2 new populations of the endangered Red-lored Whistler and one of the Striated Grasswren.
- Extensive manipulation of vegetation and other layers in the GIS Arcview.
- Co-ordination and release of the Cobar Peneplain Bioregion Survey reports to the public.
1998-01 Senior Conservation Officer (Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service & Tropical Savannas Co-operative Research Centre)
- Research project into the ecology of endangered subspecies of the Star Finch and the Crimson Finch. In particular this position involved the following:
- Utilisation of a variety of bird research methods including mist-netting, dietary analysis (observation and crop sampling), colour-banding, nest success studies.
- Work in remote localities such as east and west Cape York Peninsula, East Kimberley district of WA and the Yinberrie Hills of NT.
- Recommendations on management practices that will ensure the survival of the threatened subspecies.
- Work resulted in a number of reports and publications, for example:
Todd, M.K. (2002) Nest Site and Breeding Season Data for the Crimson Finch Neochmia phaeton in Australia, AUSTRALIAN BIRD WATCHER, 19(5): 161-171.
Todd, M.K., Felton, A. & Garnett, S.T. (2003) Morphological and dietary differences between common and uncommon subspecies of Crimson Finch, Neochmia phaeton, and Star Finch, Neochmia ruficauda, in northern Australia, EMU, 103(2): 141-148.
1998 Research Assistant (Biological Resources Division of the United States Geological Survey)
- Research project into the factors limiting populations of three species of endangered Hawaiian birds (Akiapolaau, Hawaii Creeper and Akepa) on the Big Island by the Pacific Islands Ecosystem Research Centre. The majority of the work was carried out in the Hakalau NWR.
- In particular this position involved the following:
- Mist-netting (capture, banding and assessment of birds for signs of disease).
- Searching for and monitoring of nests in plots of native forest.
- Searching for colour-banded individuals of endangered species.
- Location of a tiny population of the feral Japanese Bush-warbler that was subsequently destroyed.
- Monitoring of the presence of previously captive released Omao at Puuawaa NWR.
1997-98 Ornithological Consultant (Birds Australia)
- Study of the feeding ecology and habitat use of Latham’s Snipe in the Lower Hunter Valley.
- In particular this position involved the following:
- Mist-netting (capture, banding, collection of faeces, and fitting of radio-transmitters on birds).
- Analysis of snipe faeces to ascertain their preferred diet.
- Study of feeding behaviour by observation.
- Tracking of the movements of snipe by radio telemetry.
- Was used to create suitable habitat for Latham’s Snipe at the Homebush Bay Olympic Site.
- Resulted in a large report and the publication:
Todd, M.K. (2000) Feeding ecology of Latham’s Snipe Gallinago hardwickii, in the Lower Hunter Valley, New South Wales (2000). EMU 100 (2): 133-138.
1996-97 Research Consultant (Lake Macquarie City Council)
- Creation of the first Lake Macquarie Catchment Fauna Distribution Database for the Lake Macquarie Ecosystems and Biodiversity Taskgroup and Lake Macquarie City Council. In particular this involved:
- The collation and combination of fauna records from government databases, environmental consultancy reports, local and national private interest groups and a subsequent creation of a Microsoft Access database.
- Fauna surveys to fill in some of the gaps.
- Initial analysis of the correspondence between the species distribution and vegetation communities.
- It is used as an aid in assessing zoning applications and development approvals.
1996-97 Fauna Consultant (various companies)
- Freelance fauna surveys, Species Impact Statements and report writing for reputable companies including The Wetlands Centre (formerly Shortland Wetlands Centre), Forest Fauna Surveys, Umwelt and Fly By Night Bat Surveys. In particular this involved:
- A variety of fauna survey methodologies including bird survey techniques (point counts, transect counts, call playback), spotlighting, mammal trapping (pitfall, Elliott, Sherman, Longworth, Hairtrapping), bat survey (harp traps and bat detectors) and herp searching.
- Report writing including assessments of Species Impact Statements.
1994-95 Bachelor of Science with Honours (The University of Newcastle)
- The Ecology of the Red-browed Finch Neochmia temporalis in an urbanised environment. In particular this involved:
- Mist-netting (where I trained under the tutelage of David Geering), dietary analysis (observation and crop sampling), colour-banding, and radio telemetry.
- Apart from the thesis it resulted in some papers including:
Todd, M.K. (1996) Diet and foraging behaviour of Red-browed Finches Neochmia temporalis, near Newcastle, New South Wales. EMU. 96 (4): 245-249.
Todd, M.K. (1997) Population demographics of Red-browed Finch, Neochmia temporalis, at Newcastle, NSW (1997) CORELLA, 21 (4): 112-118.
1993 Bachelor of Science (University of Newcastle)
1989 Higher School Certificate (Toronto High School)
- Todd, M.K. (1993)- The Black-breasted Button-quail, Turnix melanogaster (1993)- AUSTRALIAN AVICULTURE. issue 9: 248-250.
- Todd, M.K. (1996) Diet and foraging behaviour of Red-browed Finches Neochmia temporalis, near Newcastle, New South Wales. EMU. 96 (4): 245-249.
- Todd, M.K. (1997) Radio telemetry of the Red-browed Finch Neochmia temporalis, near Newcastle, New South Wales. (1997) CORELLA, 21 (3): 88-89
- Todd, M.K. (1997) Population demographics of Red-browed Finch, Neochmia temporalis, at Newcastle, NSW (1997) CORELLA, 21 (4): 112-118
- Todd, M.K. (1997) Birds of Open-forest communities of Western Lake Macquarie (1997) HUNTER REGION ANNUAL BIRD REPORT NUMBER 5 (1997): 76-79
- Todd, M.K. (1999) Behaviour Profile- Crimson Finch. INTERPRETIVE BIRDING. 1999.
- Todd, M.K. (2000) Feeding ecology of Latham’s Snipe Gallinago hardwickii, in the Lower Hunter Valley, New South Wales (2000). EMU 100 (2): 133-138.
- Todd, M.K. (2000). AUSTRALIAN BIRD WATCHER. Little Kingfisher Ceyx pusilla halli on Western Cape York Peninsula.
- Todd, M.K. (2002) Nest Site and Breeding Season Data for the Crimson Finch Neochmia phaeton in Australia, AUSTRALIAN BIRD WATCHER, 19(5): 161-171.
- Todd, M.K., Felton, A. & Garnett, S.T. (2003) Morphological and dietary differences between common and uncommon subspecies of Crimson Finch, Neochmia phaeton, and Star Finch, Neochmia ruficauda, in northern Australia, EMU, 103(2): 141-148.
- Todd, M.K. & McDonnell, R. (2003) Implementing Conservation Priorities in the Riverina Bioregion, NSW NPWS Report.
- Todd, M.K. (2006) Monkey-faced Owls of Awaba, WINGSPAN, 16(1): March 2006
- Todd, M.K. (2006) Prey Partitioning and Behaviour of Breeding Masked Owls Tyto novaehollandiae on the Central Coast of New South Wales. AUSTRALIAN FIELD ORNITHOLOGY, 23(4): 186-191
- Dept. of Biol. Sci., Univ of Newc.- The ecology of the Red-browed Finch (1994)
- Hunter Bird Observers Club- The ecology of the Red-browed Finch (1995)
- Dept. of Biol. Sci., Univ of Newc.- Habitat and its effect on Species Distribution (1996)
- Closebourne Conference Centre- Higher Degree Student Conference- Avifauna of Open-forest communities in western Lake Macquarie (1997)
- Hunter Bird Observers Club- Feeding Ecology of the Latham’s Snipe Gallinago hardwickii in the Lower Hunter (1998)
- Cairns Bird Observers Club- Star Finch and White-bellied Crimson Finches on Cape York (1998).
- Riverina Biodiversity Forum- Rice-growers Association – The contribution of NPWS towards Biodiversity in the Riverina (Feb 2002)
- Murrumbidgee Field Naturalists- Birds of North Queensland (Jun 2002)
- Murrumbidgee Field Naturalists- Drought and its Effect on Riverina Birds (Dec 2002)
- Murrumbidgee Field Naturalists- Fauna of Thailand (Apr 2003)
- University of the Third Age- Endangered Riverina Birds (Sep 2003)
- Central Coast Bird Observers Club- Birds of North Queensland (Oct 2004)
- Hunter Bird Observers Club- Birds of the Riverina (Sep 2005)
- Hunter Bird Observers Club- New Zealand Birds (Mar 2006)
- Hunter Bird Observers Club- Budgerigar (May 2006)
- Forestry Co-operative Research Centre- Tasmanian Masked Owl (May 2007)
- School of Zoology- University of Tasmania- Tasmanian Masked Owl (Jul 2007)
- Birds Tasmania- Tasmanian Masked Owl (Aug 2007)
- Tasmanian Field Naturalists Club- Tasmanian Masked Owl (Oct 2007)
- Australian Bird Fair- Leeton 2007-2008. Bird Photography, Ecology of the Tasmanian Masked Owl.
- Queensland Finch Society- The Star Finch & Crimson Finch of North Queensland (Nov 2008).
- Lake Macquarie City Council Environmental Research Grant (1995)- The Ecology of the Red-browed Finch
- Lake Macquarie City Council Environmental Research Grant (1997)- Hair-trapping Survey of Western Lake Macquarie
- Forest Practices Authority Research Award- (2007)
- Australian Bird Research Award- Australian Bird Study Association (2008)
- Stuart Leslie Bird Research Award- Birds Australia (2008).
Permits and Certificates:
- Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme- 'A' Class Bird Banding Licence - A1998.
- National Parks and Wildlife Service- Bird Banding Permit- C421.
- 4WD certification (2003)
- PADI Open Water Diver (1993)
- First Aid Certification- DANI (2007)
- Computer Skills- particularly Microsoft ACCESS, Microsoft EXCEL, Microsoft WORD, Microsoft POWERPOINT, Adobe PHOTOSHOP.
- Geographic Information Systems- ARCVIEW and MAPINFO. Also extensive GPS (Global Positioning System experience).
- Experienced 35 mm SLR film and digital photographer. Extensive collection of wildlife photographs. Tropical Savannas CRC Photograph Competition Winner 1999.
- Experienced digital sound recorder of bird calls.
- Birdwatching. Former member of the NSW Twitchathon team, “The Whacked-out Woodswallows” which won the NSW Twitchathon from 2001-2003 and held the then NSW record of 223 species in 24 hours.
Australian Bird Study Association
Hunter Bird Observers Club- Committee Member (1998, 2005-06).