Penetration of remnant edges by noisy miners (Manorina melanocephala) and implications for habitat restoration
Michael F. Clarke A B and Joanne M. Oldland A
A Department of Zoology, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Vic. 3086, Australia.
B Corresponding author. Email: M.Clarke@latrobe.edu.au
Wildlife Research 34(4) 253-261 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WR06134
Submitted: 11 October 2006 Accepted: 23 May 2007 Published: 28 June 2007
The noisy miner (Manorina melanocephala) is a large, communally breeding colonial native honeyeater renowned for aggressively excluding virtually all other bird species from areas they occupy. In the woodlands of southern and eastern Australia, numerous studies have identified the domination of remnants by noisy miners as having a profound negative effect on woodland bird communities. Despite this, very little is known about the habitat characteristics that make domination of a site by noisy miners more likely. This study investigated the depth from edges that noisy miners penetrated into large woodland remnants (>48 ha) within Victoria and attempted to identify habitat characteristics that influenced the depth to which they penetrated. Penetration depth differed significantly across four broad habitat types but commonly ranged from 150 m to more than 300 m from the remnant edge. If noisy miners colonise a site, their capacity to penetrate in from a remnant edge has implications for the size that remnants need to be (>36 ha) to contain any core ‘noisy-miner-free’ habitat and the width that habitat corridors need to be to avoid domination by noisy miners (>600 m). Broad differences in habitat type and the abundance of noisy miners at a site were the most powerful predictors of penetration distance. The density of canopy trees on a site was the only other habitat variable contributing to the most parsimonious model of penetration depth. Decreasing density of trees was associated with increasing penetration depth by noisy miners.
(2002). Comparisons of the first and second Atlas of Australian Birds to determine conservation status of woodland-dependent and other bird species in New South Wales over the last twenty years. Birds Australia report for NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. (Birds Australia: Melbourne.)
Conservation of woodland birds in a fragmented rural landscape.
Pacific Conservation Biology
Habitat corridors and the conservation of small mammals in a fragmented forest environment.
(1999). ‘Linkages in the Landscape. The Role of Corridors and Connectivity in Wildlife Conservation.’ (IUCN–The World Conservation Union: Gland, Switzerland.)
The application of focal species knowledge to landscape design using the ecological neighbourhood as a template.
Landscape and Urban Planning
Multimodel inference: understanding AIC and BIC in model selection.
Sociological Methods & Research
(2004). Birds, garden plants and suburban bushlots: where good intentions meet unexpected outcomes. In ‘Urban Wildlife: More than Meets the Eye.’ (Eds S. Burgin, and D. Lunney.) pp. 21–31. (Royal Zoological Society of NSW: Sydney.)
(1991). Habitat use by birds across a forest suburb interface in Brisbane: implications for corridors. In ‘Nature Conservation 2: The Role of Corridors.’ (Eds D. A. Saunders and R. J. Hobbs.) pp. 247–258. (Surrey Beatty: Sydney.)
Use of remnant forest habitat by birds during winter in subtropical Australia: patterns and processes.
Pacific Conservation Biology
(2002). Noisy miner irruptions associated with land use by humans in south-east Queensland: causes, effects, and management implications. In ‘Landscape Health in Queensland.’ (Eds A. Franks, J. Playford and A. Shapcott.) pp. 117–127. (Royal Society of Queensland: Brisbane.)
(2002). Ecological vegetation class mapping at 1: 25 000 in Gippsland. Final report. Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Gippsland Region, Victoria.
Department of Sustainability and Environment (2004). Ecological vegetation class bioregion benchmark for vegetation quality assessment. Victorian Riverina bioregion. EVC 295: riverine grassy woodlands. Victorian Government Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne.
Indiscriminate interspecific aggression leading to almost sole occupancy of space by a single species of bird.
Environment Conservation Council (2001). Box–ironbark forests and woodlands investigation. Final report. Environment Conservation Council, Melbourne, Victoria.
(1985). The bird community of eucalypt woodland and eucalypt dieback in the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales. In ‘Birds of Eucalypt Forests and Woodlands: Ecology, Conservation, Management.’ (Eds A. Keast, H. F. Recher, H. A. Ford and D. Saunders.) pp. 333–340. (RAOU & Surrey Beatty: Sydney.)
Density of birds in eucalypt woodland affected to varying degrees by dieback.
(1995). Effect of habitat fragmentation and degradation in bird communities in Australian eucalypt woodland. In ‘Functioning and Dynamics of Natural and Perturbed Ecosystems.’ (Eds D. Bellan, G. Bonin and C. Emig.) pp. 99–116. (Lavoisier: Paris.)
Why have birds in the woodlands of southern Australia declined?
(Ed.) (1992). Threatened and extinct birds of Australia. Report No. 82. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union, Melbourne.
Overabundance: an issue for conservation biologists?
Initial changes in the avian communities of remnant eucalypt woodlands following a reduction in the abundance of noisy miners Manorina melanocephala.
Influence of the noisy miner Manorina melanocephala on avian diversity and abundance in remnant grey box woodland.
Pacific Conservation Biology
Habitat fragmentation and large-scale conservation: what do we know for sure?
Stop the bullying in the corridors: can including shrubs make your revegetation more noisy miner free?
Ecological Management & Restoration
Effects of landscape fragmentation on ecosystem processes in the Western Australian wheatbelt.
A. J. M.
From frontier to fragments: European impact on Australia’s vegetation.
Proceedings of the Ecological Society of Australia
Focal species: a multi-species umbrella for nature conservation.
, et al (1986). Edge and other effects of isolation on Amazon forest fragments. In ‘Conservation Biology: the Science of Scarcity and Diversity.’ (Ed. M. Soulé.) pp. 257–285. (Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA.)
(2002). ‘The New Nature: Winners and Losers in Wild Australia.’ (Penguin Books Australia: Melbourne.)
(1985). Birds in fragmented forests in Gippsland, Victoria. In ‘Birds in Eucalypt Forests and Woodlands: Ecology, Conservation and Management.’ (Eds A. Keast, H. F. Recher, H. A. Ford and D. Saunders.) pp. 323–331. (RAOU & Surrey Beatty: Sydney.)
(1987). Effects of patch area and habitat on bird abundances, species numbers and tree health in fragmented Victorian forests. In ‘Nature Conservation: the Role of Remnants of Native Vegetation.’ (Eds D. A. Saunders, G. W. Arnold, A. A. Burbidge, and A. J. M. Hopkins.) pp. 65–77. (Surrey Beatty: Sydney.)
Territorial bell miners and other birds affecting populations of insect prey.
Bird response at inherent and induced edges in the Murray Mallee, South Australia. 1. Differences in abundance and diversity.
Habitat fragmentation and habitat loss: secondary, cascading effects and predictability.
Australian Journal of Biological Sciences
Forecasting the impacts of habitat fragmentation. Evaluation of species-specific predictions of the impact of habitat fragmentation on birds in the box–ironbark forests of central Victoria, Australia.
Influence of remnant and landscape attributes on Australian woodland bird communities.
Is landscape context important for riparian conservation? Birds in grassy woodland.
(1995). Description and conservation status of the vegetation of the box–ironbark ecosystem in Victoria. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Melbourne, Victoria.
Edge effects in fragmented forests: implications for conservation.
Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Can we maintain biological and ecological integrity?
A particular case and a general pattern: hyperaggressive behaviour by one species may mediate avifaunal decreases in fragmented Australian forests.
(1997). ‘The Graham Pizzey & Frank Knight Field Guide to the Birds of Australia.’ (Harper Collins: Sydney.)
(2002). ‘Experimental Design and Data Analysis for Biologists.’ (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.)
Threatened birds in Victoria: their distributions, ecology and future.
Lest we forget to forge.
Vale Toolern Vale: the loss of our woodland birds.
Changes in the avifauna of a region, district and remnants as a result of fragmentation of native vegetation: the wheatbelt of Western Australia. A case study.
Flagships, umbrellas and keystones: is single species management passé in the landscape era?
(1996). ‘Using Multivariate Statistics.’ 3rd edn. (HarperCollins: New York.)
Independent effects of forest cover and fragmentation on the distribution of forest breeding birds.
United Nations Environment Program (1995). ‘Global Biodiversity Assessment.’ (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.)
An assessment of the focal-species approach for conserving birds in variegated landscapes in southeastern Australia.
Measuring success: evaluating the restoration of a grassy eucalypt woodland on the Cumberland Plain, Sydney, Australia.