Stop the bullying in the corridors: Can including shrubs make your revegetation more Noisy Miner free?

Authors

  • Richard A. Hastings,

  • Andrew J. Beattie


  • Richard Hastings carried out this research as part of his Master of Science (Hons) degree in the Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, under the supervision of Andrew Beattie, Professor of Biological Sciences and Director of the Key Centre for Biodiversity and Bioresources in the Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University (Balaclava Road, North Ryde, NSW 2109, Australia. E-mail: abeattie@bio.mq.edu.au). Richard's current address is: Euvale, Tugalong Road, Canyonleigh, NSW 2577, Australia. (Tel. (02) 4878 9407. Email: hastings@mitmania.net.au).

Abstract

Summary  Noisy Miners (Manorina melanocephala) are aggressive Australian honeyeaters that dominate many areas of remnant vegetation and forest edges from which they competitively exclude small birds. A similar domination can also occur in planted wildlife corridors. The aim of this study was to determine which corridor plantings encouraged the presence of small native birds in regions where Noisy Miners dominate. Six vegetation mixes were investigated in the main study: eucalypts with and without shrubby understorey; acacia with and without shrubby understorey; exotic conifer; and exotic deciduous trees. A supplementary study then examined sites with a mixture of eucalypt and acacia trees with a shrubby understorey. The findings showed that Noisy Miners dominated corridors of eucalypts, virtually excluding small birds, whereas native acacias, exotic conifer and exotic deciduous corridors had small birds and no resident Noisy Miners. The greatest abundance and richness of small birds occurred in plantings combining eucalypts with at least 15% acacias, in this case bipinnate species. Given these results, it is recommended that eucalypt plantings should be supplemented with both acacias (preferably bipinnate) and a shrubby understorey.

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