Exotic bumblebees and native birds (Aust.)

Subject: Exotic bumblebees and native birds (Aust.)
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 09:06:36 +1000

From: Martin  on 03/28/2002 09:06 AM

Subject:  Exotic bumblebees and native birds (Aust.)

Michael Norris has touched on a conservation issue recently dealt with by the
Victorian Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC).

The SAC made a recommendation last year that the following item be added to the
Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act as a 'Potentially Threatening Process'.

The introduction and spread of the large earth bumblebee Bombus terrestris L.
into Victorian terrestrial environments.

The item is now listed under the Act and the Deaprtment of Natural Resources &
Environment must now address the issue via a Action Statement (management plan).

Some of the text from the Recommendation Report for the item mentions in part:

'Bumblebees may compete for resources with nectarivorous birds (honeyeaters eg.
Regent Honeyeater and Helmeted Honeyeater), specialised parrots (lorikeets and
the endangered Swift Parrot Lathamus discolor), some native mammals
(Pygmy-possum and Sugar Glider) and endemic bees, thus reducing the reproductive
output of these native flower-loving fauna.  Foraging of Bumblebees could lead
to a reduction in seed set of native plants through nectar competition with
their specialised pollinators.  Bumblebee visitation to exotic plants may also
lead to an increase of the number of weed species and proliferation of these
species in the state.'

The short recommendation report is a public document and available from me for
those interested.

Please supply a postal address.


Martin O'Brien
Executive Scientific Officer, Scientific Advisory Committee
Department of Natural Resources and Environment
4/250 Victoria Pde., East Melbourne  3002

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