Profiles

James Pay

UTAS Home Dr James Pay

James Pay

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Room Room 235 , Life Sciences Building

+61 3 6226 2633 (phone)

James.Pay@utas.edu.au

Dr James Pay is a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Natural Sciences. His research is focused on the conservation biology and behavioral ecology of threatened birds.

Career summary

Qualifications

DegreeThesis TitleUniversityCountryDate of Award
PhDInvestigating the conservation requirements of the endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax fleayi)University of TasmaniaAustralia2020
BSc (1st Class Hons)Competition between foraging birds: investigating interspecific dominance hierarchies and the residency effect  Aberystwyth UniversityUK2011

View more on Dr James Pay in WARP

Expertise

  • Bird conservation and ecology
  • Spatial ecology
  • Behavioural ecology
  • Environmental contaminants
  • Population modelling

Research Themes

James’ research is aligned with the University’s research theme of Environment, Resources and Sustainability. His interests focus on the application of novel technologies and approaches to conservation biology.

His current research is on the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax fleayi), an endangered top predator endemic to Tasmania. James’ research includes the use of high-frequency GPS-tracking to provide fine-scale information on the behaviour of these birds. This information will be used to inform the management of a number of threats to the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle population, including habitat loss, collisions with powerlines and wind turbines, and human disturbance. James is also exploring different methods to investigate the impacts of environmental contaminants on predatory species. Top predators are susceptible to the exposure and effects of contaminants. Understanding the routes by which predators are exposed will help inform management actions that effectively mitigate the impacts.

Current projects

  • The spatial modelling of eagle flight behaviour: improving understanding of powerline and wind turbine collision risk
  • Investigating the rates and drivers of exposure to environmental contaminants in Tasmania’s predatory birds
  • Investigating the behaviour and habitat requirements of the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle
  • Using high-frequency GPS-tracking technology to investigate the behavioural response of a shy top predator to human activities

Fields of Research

  • Animal behaviour (310901)
  • Behavioural ecology (310301)
  • Conservation and biodiversity (410401)

Research Objectives

  • Terrestrial biodiversity (180606)
  • Wind energy (170808)
  • Evaluation, allocation, and impacts of land use (180603)

Publications

Total publications

3

Journal Article

(3 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2021Hampton JO, Specht AJ, Pay JM, Pokras MA, Bengsen AJ, 'Portable X-ray fluorescence for bone lead measurements of Australian eagles', Science of The Total Environment, 789 Article 147998. ISSN 0048-9697 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147998 [eCite] [Details]

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2021Pay JM, Katzner TE, Hawkins CE, Barmuta LA, Brown WE, et al., 'Endangered Australian top predator is frequently exposed to anticoagulant rodenticides', Science of The Total Environment, 788 Article 147673. ISSN 0048-9697 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147673 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Hawkins CE; Barmuta LA; Koch AJ; Cameron EZ

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2021Pay JM, Katzner TE, Hawkins CE, Kock AJ, Wiersma JM, et al., 'High frequency of lead exposure in the population of an endangered Australian top predator, the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax fleayi)', Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 40, (1) pp. 219-230. ISSN 0730-7268 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/etc.4914 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 3

Co-authors: Hawkins CE; Kock AJ; Cameron EZ

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Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants

12

Total funding

$867,339

Projects

GPS-tracking Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles (EPF) (2021) (2021)$74,420
Description
Wind energy represents a key renewable energy source that is increasingly utilised worldwide in efforts to reduce carbon emissions and the effects of climate change. However, wind farms have negative impacts on avifauna through injuries caused by collisions with turbines. In Tasmania, the endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle is vulnerable to collisions from wind-turbines and these incidents are expected to increase with the growing wind energy industry in the state. These collisions are a conservation concern for the species and a significant financial cost to Tasmanian wind energy companies. It is therefore a priority that efforts are made to mitigate the effects of wind energy infrastructure on the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle. High-frequency GPS-tracking has been used to understand the flight behaviour of raptor species threatened by wind turbine collisions in the US and Europe. These studies have created regional and local risk models that predict where high-risk flights are more likely to occur in the landscape, providing important information to guide effective mitigation. The application of these techniques to help understand and reduce the impacts of wind farms of wedge-tailed eagles is supported by state and commonwealth regulators
Funding
Environmental Protection Agency Tasmania ($74,420)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Pay JM; Cameron EZ
Year
2021
GPS tracking wedge-tailed eagles with Epuron (2021)$70,687
Description
Wind energy represents a key renewable energy source that is increasingly utilised worldwide in efforts to reduce carbon emissions and the effects of climate change. However, wind farms have negative impacts on avifauna through injuries caused by collisions with turbines. In Tasmania, the endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle is vulnerable to collisions from wind-turbines and these incidents are expected to increase with the growing wind energy industry in the state. These collisions are a conservation concern for the species and a significant financial cost to Tasmanian wind energy companies. It is therefore a priority that efforts are made to mitigate the effects of wind energy infrastructure on the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle. High-frequency GPS-tracking has been used to understand the flight behaviour of raptor species threatened by wind turbine collisions in the US and Europe. These studies have created regional and local risk models that predict where high-risk flights are more likely to occur in the landscape, providing important information to guide effective mitigation. The application of these techniques to help understand and reduce the impacts of wind farms of wedge-tailed eagles is supported by state and commonwealth regulators.
Funding
Epuron ($70,687)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Pay JM; Cameron EZ
Year
2021
GPS tracking wedge-tailed eagles at Guildford (Epuron) (2021)$92,362
Description
Wind energy represents a key renewable energy source that is increasingly utilised worldwide in efforts to reduce carbon emissions and the effects of climate change. However, wind farms have negative impacts on avifauna through injuries caused by collisions with turbines. In Tasmania, the endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle is vulnerable to collisions from wind-turbines and these incidents are expected to increase with the growing wind energy industry in the state. These collisions are a conservation concern for the species and a significant financial cost to Tasmanian wind energy companies. It is therefore a priority that efforts are made to mitigate the effects of wind energy infrastructure on the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle. High-frequency GPS-tracking has been used to understand the flight behaviour of raptor species threatened by wind turbine collisions in the US and Europe. These studies have created regional and local risk models that predict where high-risk flights are more likely to occur in the landscape, providing important information to guide effective mitigation. The application of these techniques to help understand and reduce the impacts of wind farms of wedge-tailed eagles is supported by state and commonwealth regulators.
Funding
Epuron ($92,362)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Pay JM
Year
2021
Aspects of the spatial and reproductive ecology of the grey goshawk in Tasmania (2021)$6,000
Description
The aim of this study is to apply a comparative approach to gain further insights into the spatial and reproductive ecology of grey goshawks in highly modified and natural habitats, and the ways in which modified anthropogenic habitats promote or negatively impact populations or individuals of the species. The objectives in achieving this aim are: 1. Estimate and compare breeding and non-breeding home range size of adult male and female grey goshawks in modified / unmodified and wet / dry landscapes of south-east Tasmania. 2. Characterise important regional nesting habitat in modified / unmodified habitats, and develop a predictive nesting habitat model.3. Investigate spatio-temporal habitat use of adult grey goshawks to identify and characterise important foraging and roosting habitat within the home range during breeding and non-breeding seasons (eg compare use vs availability). 4. Estimate breeding densities and nest productivity in SE Tasmania from nest sites located during this study.
Funding
Donation via University of Tasmania Foundation ($3,000); Sustainable Timber Tasmania ($3,000)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Kirkpatrick JB; Harris R; Pay JM
Year
2021
Estimating the population size of the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax fleayi) using modern genetic techniques (2021)$12,918
Description
This project will use modern genotyping techniques (DArTseq) and statistical approaches to estimate the effective population size of the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax fleayi). This information will be used to parameterise a state-wide population viability analysis to improve precision of modelled predictions. The project and the associated PVA will address two research priorities identified in the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle recovery plan.
Funding
Southern Regional Natural Resource Management Association Inc ($12,918)
Scheme
Grant - Wedge-tailed Eagle Research Fund
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Pay JM; Butler JB; Burridge CP
Year
2021
Coordinating conservation and research priorities for the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle Aquila audax fleayi (2020 - 2021)$165,000
Description
The threatened Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle lacks a current Recovery Plan. The objectives of its previous Plan, which expired 2010, were to increase the species breeding success and security by protecting nesting habitat, minimising foraging habitat modification and minimising human-related mortalities. However, new information is providing insights into additional and existing threats (e.g. lead poisoning, rodenticides, adult and juvenile mortality). Eagle management impacts many different industries, and currently the key approach to managing eagles is focused on nest sites. The conservation needs and management priorities of this species need to be reviewed to refine and build on these efforts. The aim of this project is to improve the plight of Tasmanian eagles with a coordinated and holistic approach, supported by the review and acquisition of new information on ecology, behaviour and threats.
Funding
Woolnorth Wind Farm Holding Pty Ltd ($165,000)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Pay JM; Cameron EZ
Period
2020 - 2021
Investigating the conservation biology of the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle using high-frequency GPS telemetry - Woolnorth (2020)$90,005
Description
Wind energy represents a key renewable energy source that is increasingly utilised worldwide in efforts to reduce carbon emissions and the effects of climate change. However, wind farms have negative impacts on avifauna through injuries caused by collisions with turbines. In Tasmania, the endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle is vulnerable to collisions from wind-turbines and these incidents are expected to increase with the growing wind energy industry in the state. These collisions are a conservation concern for the species and a significant financial cost to Tasmanian wind energy companies. It is therefore a priority that efforts are made to mitigate the effects of wind energy infrastructure on the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle. High-frequency GPS-tracking has been used to understand the flight behaviour of raptor species threatened by wind turbine collisions in the US and Europe. These studies have created regional and local risk models that predict where high-risk flights are more likely to occur in the landscape, providing important information to guide effective mitigation. The application of these techniques to help understand and reduce the impacts of wind farms of wedge-tailed eagles is supported by state and commonwealth regulators.
Funding
Woolnorth Wind Farm Holding Pty Ltd ($90,005)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Cameron EZ; Pay JM
Year
2020
Investigating the conservation biology of the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle using high-frequency GPS telemetry - UPC (2020 - 2021)$96,267
Description
Wind energy represents a key renewable energy source that is increasingly utilised worldwide in efforts to reduce carbon emissions and the effects of climate change. However, wind farms have negative impacts on avifauna through injuries caused by collisions with turbines. In Tasmania, the endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle is vulnerable to collisions from wind-turbines and these incidents are expected to increase with the growing wind energy industry in the state. These collisions are a conservation concern for the species and a significant financial cost to Tasmanian wind energy companies. It is therefore a priority that efforts are made to mitigate the effects of wind energy infrastructure on the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle. High-frequency GPS-tracking has been used to understand the flight behaviour of raptor species threatened by wind turbine collisions in the US and Europe. These studies have created regional and local risk models that predict where high-risk flights are more likely to occur in the landscape, providing important information to guide effective mitigation. The application of these techniques to help understand and reduce the impacts of wind farms of wedge-tailed eagles is supported by state and commonwealth regulators.
Funding
UPC Robbins Island Pty Ltd ($96,267)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Pay JM; Cameron EZ
Period
2020 - 2021
GPS-tracking Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles (NRM South) (2020 - 2022) (2020 - 2022)$74,420
Description
Wind energy represents a key renewable energy source that is increasingly utilised worldwide in efforts to reduce carbon emissions and the effects of climate change. However, wind farms have negative impacts on avifauna through injuries caused by collisions with turbines. In Tasmania, the endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle is vulnerable to collisions from wind-turbines and these incidents are expected to increase with the growing wind energy industry in the state. These collisions are a conservation concern for the species and a significant financial cost to Tasmanian wind energy companies. It is therefore a priority that efforts are made to mitigate the effects of wind energy infrastructure on the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle. High-frequency GPS-tracking has been used to understand the flight behaviour of raptor species threatened by wind turbine collisions in the US and Europe. These studies have created regional and local risk models that predict where high-risk flights are more likely to occur in the landscape, providing important information to guide effective mitigation. The application of these techniques to help understand and reduce the impacts of wind farms of wedge-tailed eagles is supported by state and commonwealth regulators.
Funding
Southern Regional Natural Resource Management Association Inc ($74,420)
Scheme
Grant - Wedge-tailed Eagle Research Fund
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Pay JM; Cameron EZ
Period
2020 - 2022
Conservation ecology and response to disturbance of the Tasmanian Wedge-Tailed Eagle (Aquila audax fleayi) (2017)$120,000
Description
This project seeks to address the paucity in quantitative research on the behaviour of the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle, how the subspecies is affected by anthropogenic disturbance and the efficacy of current management guidelines.
Funding
Woolnorth Wind Farm Holding Pty Ltd ($120,000)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Cameron EZ; Pay JM
Year
2017
Conservation ecology and response to disturbance of the Tasmanian Wedge-Tailed Eagle (Aquila audax fleayi) (2017 - 2018)$45,000
Description
This project seeks to address the paucity in quantitative research on the behaviour of the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle, how the subspecies is affected by anthropogenic disturbance and the efficacy of current management guidelines.
Funding
Tasmanian Networks Pty Ltd ($45,000)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Pay JM; Cameron EZ
Period
2017 - 2018
Behavioural ecology and response to disturbance of the endangered Tasmanian Wedge-Tailed Eagle (Aquila audax fleayi) (2016 - 2018)$20,260
Description
This project seeks to address the paucity in quantitative research on the behaviour of the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle, how the subspecies is affected by anthropogenic disturbance and the efficacy of current management guidelines.
Funding
Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment ($20,260)
Scheme
Grant
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Cameron EZ; Pay JM
Period
2016 - 2018

Research Supervision

Current

1

Current

DegreeTitleCommenced
PhDThe Role of Human activities and Artefacts in Conserving Threatened Birds2021