CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Emu   
  Journal of BirdLife Australia
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Research Fronts
Rowley Reviews
Virtual Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Submit Article
Author Instructions
Open Access
Awards and Prizes
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates
Library Recommendation

red arrow Complete Archive
blank image
With the complete digital archive of Emu now online, we have selected some of the most interesting and significant papers for readers to access freely.

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with BirdLife
blank image
facebook TwitterIcon LinkedIn

red arrow Connect with CP
blank image
facebook twitter logo LinkedIn


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 108(4)

The vegetation requirements of Superb Fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus) in non-urban edge and urbanised habitats

Holly Parsons A C, Kristine French A, Richard E. Major B

A Institute for Conservation Biology and Law, School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, Northfields Ave, Wollongong, NSW 2520, Australia.
B Terrestrial Ecology, Australian Museum, 6 College St, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: hmp04@uow.edu.au
PDF (176 KB) $25
 Export Citation


Urbanisation has created an environment with a broad spectrum of habitats of differing quality for birds. Understanding habitat characteristics is necessary for effective conservation of species in urban environments. We investigated the vegetation requirements of a small, shrub-nesting, Australian bird, the Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus), and the relative quality of urban habitats in the Illawarra region of New South Wales. Vegetation was assessed in three different habitats: suburban sites within Superb Fairy-wren territories (n = 20 sites), suburban sites where Fairy-wrens were absent (n = 20), and rural–woodland edge in which Fairy-wrens were present (n = 17). This third habitat represents a habitat assumed to be the best possible habitat for this species within the landscape. We analysed structure and floristics of the vegetation. The three habitats were significantly different from each other both in vegetation structure and floristic composition. While there was some variability in habitat selection in suburban areas, Superb Fairy-wrens were largely restricted to areas that have a dense layer of native shrubs surrounding grassy areas. They were absent from suburban sites where there were either few shrubs in total or sites with exotic shrubs, regardless of abundance. It was predicted that non-suburban habitats (habitat located on the rural–remnant edge) would be of a higher quality than suburban habitats (habitat within residential housing) owing to a prevalence of native vegetation. However, these sites were dominated by a single exotic species, Lantana (Lantana camara). Despite this plant replacing native vegetation, it was an important habitat feature. Either this plant or native shrubs must be available for this species to colonise a site.

Subscriber Login

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2016