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 > Wildlife Research   
Wildlife Research
Journal Banner
  Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

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

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

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter logo LinkedIn


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 32(6)

How important are different types of temperate woodlands for ground-foraging birds?

Mark J. Antos A B, Andrew F. Bennett A

A Landscape Ecology Research Group, School of Ecology and Environment, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Vic. 3125, Australia.
B Corresponding author. Email: antos@deakin.edu.au
PDF (264 KB) $25
 Export Citation


There is widespread concern about population decline in a number of woodland-dependent birds in southern Australia. Of all declining species, approximately half forage on the ground. This study examined the avifaunal assemblages of temperate woodlands of the Northern Plains, Victoria, to investigate the importance of woodland habitats for ground-foraging species. Four main types of woodland were surveyed (white cypress-pine, black box, grey box and river red gum) and, in total, 89 bird species were detected. All four woodland types differed in habitat structure and, in turn, supported significantly different avifaunal assemblages. Forty of the 89 species (45%) foraged, at least in part, on the ground. Species richness and abundance of ground-foragers differed significantly between woodland types, being highest in white cypress-pine and black box. There was a greater richness of ground-foragers during the breeding than non-breeding season, but abundance did not vary seasonally. Overall, ground-foraging birds comprised a greater proportion of species (>55%) and individuals (>60%) in white cypress-pine and black box woodland than in grey box and river red gum (42–48% of species, <50% individuals). Those ground-foragers regarded as declining also occurred in greatest richness in white cypress-pine woodlands, one of the most depleted habitats in the region. The lowest richness of ‘declining’ ground-foraging species was in river red gum woodland, the most widespread woodland type. Throughout Australia, the proportion of ground-foraging species in bird assemblages tends to be greater in temperate, semi-arid or arid woodlands than in moist forests and rainforests. However, in many regions woodland habitats are severely depleted and their open ground layer is particularly vulnerable to degradation. The extent of suitable habitat for ground-foraging birds in temperate woodlands may be much less than is apparent from current measures of tree cover. Sustainable management of drier (non-riverine) temperate woodlands is required to conserve this important element of the Australian avifauna.

Subscriber Login

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2016