birding-aus Apostlebird status in se Aust. - 1999

Subject: birding-aus Apostlebird status in se Aust. - 1999
From: "Martin O'Brien"<>
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 08:36:04 +1000
Thanks for the Apostlebird observations Tony, I am the person who is
examining the species conservation status and distribution in se Australia.
I have been compiling a nomination document for the state Scientific
Advisory Committee (SAC) which may see the species added to our Flora and
Fuana Guarantee Act.

Some of my findings to date are:
(a) There appears to be a contraction (north) to the Murray River in the
species distribution,
(b) The Victorian population now appears to be split into two probably
isolated groups.  One in the lower Ovens and the other in/around
Hattah-Kulkyne National Park in the north-west of the state.  The gap
between the two groups is increasing.
(c) There has been only two breeding records of the species in victoria
since the last Atlas.
(d) The species is not extinct in SA (thankyou to all those people who
provided ther own unpublished records to prove this - especially those
South Australians)
(e) The is likely to be less than 200 flocks of the species in Victoria.
This equates to less than 2000 birds in this part of Australia.  [My
feeling is that there are probably less than 100 flocks].
(f) The stronghold of the species is probably NSW.  [I eagerly await the
new Atlas findings on this and other species]
(g) The main reasons for the decline of the species in Victoria are habitat
loss, habitat fragmentation, habitat degradation (over-grazing by stock and
rabbits, tree dieback, weed invasion, inappropriate fire regimes, salinity,
etc.), logging and firewood collection, mining and probably increased
predation due to introduced predators.

I would like to thank all those observers who contacted me and provided
details of observations and opinions on the status of Apostlebirds in SE
Australia.  I will endevour to keep the list posted on the outcome of the
SACs consideration of my Apostlebird nomination.  Apostlebirds are one of a
number of woodland species that are in decline in parts of their range.

Still interested in any observations of the species in Victoria.
Particularly if they are breeding or "new" sites.

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

tel: +61 3 9412 4567
fax: +61 3 9412 4586

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