Bird assemblages in a small public reserve and adjacent residental area at Wollongong
23(5) 605 - 619
AbstractA total of 8262 birds of 57 species was counted in a degraded public reserve and adjacent residential area during 61 paired transects in 1990. Most of the reserve was remnant wet sclerophyll forest (5 ha) and subtropical rainforest (0.4 ha), whereas a variety of mature native and introduced trees and shrubs were present in the 55-year-old suburb. Species evenness was similar in the habitats of the reserve and residental area but not species richness, number of individuals or composition of the avifauna. In all seasons, the reserve was richer in species but poorer in absolute numbers of birds. Thirteen native species were reserve specialists, six species (five introduced) were suburb specialists and 17 species showed only slight habitat preference. Excluding silvereyes, which showed little preference for either habitat, there were twice as many regularly occurring species that preferred to use the reserve rather than the residential area but only half the number of individuals. Nine specialist species are at risk of local extinction because their populations in the reserve are critically small [range: 80 (brown gerygone, Gerygone mouki) to 5 birds (eastern whipbird, Psophodes olivaceus)]. Seventeen species have become locally extinct since Europeans arrived in 1816. Conservation of the avifauna is discussed.
© CSIRO 1996