Biodiversity Assessment Technical Report



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Painted Honeyeater

Grantiella picta

RARITY

a) Geographic Range

  • Classification of range size: Small

  • Range size within region: (ha): Unknown

  • Proportion of region occupied (%): Unknown, possibly <5
    There are only 7 post-1980 records for the species on the Atlas of Victorian Wildlife within the Central Highlands area

  • Source: Atlas of Victorian Wildlife

b) Abundance

  • Classification of abundance: Low

  • Population Estimate: Unknown

  • Density: Unknown, usually occurs at low densities

  • Home Range (ha): Unknown

  • Source: Eddy (1961)

c) Habitat Specificity

  • Classification of habitat specificity: Narrow

  • Vegetation types used in the region: Dry sclerophyll forest and woodland. EVCs containing key eucalypt species which are parasited by preferred mistletoe species include Valley Forest, Grassy Dry Forest, Box Woodland and Heathy Dry Forest

  • Source: CNR and AHC (1994)

DYNAMICS

Population Trend in Last Decade

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Unknown

  • Source: D. Robinson pers. comm.

Population trend since discovery by Europeans

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Unknown, probably declined

  • Source: Lumsden et al. (1991)

SPATIAL DYNAMICS

a) Population variability

  • Classification of population variability: High

  • Source: D. Robinson pers. comm.

b) Dispersal

  • Classification of powers of dispersal: High

  • Average distances dispersed: Unknown

  • Maximum distance dispersed: Unknown

  • Source: D. Robinson pers. comm.

LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS

a) Reproductive output

  • Classification of reproductive output: High

  • Age of sexual maturity (yrs): Unknown

  • Mean clutch/litter/brood size: 2

  • Mean no of clutches/litters/broods per year: 2

  • Time of year young born/hatch: October-March

  • Source: Longmore (1991)

b) Longevity

  • Classification of lifespan: Unknown

  • Average lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Maximum lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Source: D. Robinson pers. comm.

c) Morphology

Adult body size



  • Weight (g): 23

  • Length (mm): 160

  • Source: Longmore (1991)

d) Social organisation

  • Colonial or non-colonial: Sometimes occurs in small flocks or nesting groups

  • Territoriality: Males defend nesting territories

  • Source: Longmore (1991), Robinson (1994)

e) Other

  • Nomadic, migratory, sedentary: Migratory

  • Mode of feeding: Primarily a frugivore, although also insectivore and nectivore

  • Source: Longmore (1991)



THREATS

1. Fire (planned): Ranking (-)

2. Fire (unplanned): Ranking (-)

3. Logging: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm.

4. Introduced Species: Ranking (-)

5. Pest Control: Ranking (-)

6. Grazing: Ranking (1 ) D. Robinson pers. comm.

7. Disease: Ranking (-)

8. Illegal harvesting: Ranking (-)

9. Non-forestry Clearing: Ranking (1) Garnett (1992), D. Robinson pers. comm.

10. Mining/Quarrying: Ranking (-)

11. Roading: Ranking (-)

12. Recreation: Ranking (-)

13. Vandalism/Disturbance by Humans: Ranking (-)

14. Other: Pasture Improvement: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm. Interspecific competition: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm.
Current Management:

The Painted Honeyeater is listed under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. There are no current management prescriptions for the species in the Central Highlands.


Comments:There is very little known about the biology, ecology, popultion dynamics and movements of the Painted Honeyeater. A specialist feeder of mistletoe fruit (Longmore 1991), the Painted Honeyeater is a summer migrant to Victoria and occurs primarily in dry forests and woodlands on the inland slopes and adjacent plains of the Great Dividing Range. There are only seven post 1980 records of the species within the Central Highlands (Atlas of Victorian Wildlife).
The Painted Honeyeater generally inhabits open stands of old eucalypts infested with mistletoes and loss of mature trees as a result of logging could represent a threat (D. Robinson pers. comm.). Clearing of habitat for agriculture and lack of habitat regeneration as a result of grazing could accelerate any long-term decline (Garnett 1992). Tree decline may be exacerbated by pasture improvement activities which contribute to habitat degradation and loss (Landsberg et al. 1990). Other possible reasons for the species’ apparent decline (which require research) include displacement by the generalist Mistletoebird Dicaeum hirundinaceum and exclusion by Noisy Miners Manorina melanocephala (Robinson 1994).

Swift Parrot

Lathamus discolor

RARITY

a) Geographic Range

  • Classification of range size: Small

  • Range size within region: (ha): Unknown, possibly 150 000

  • Proportion of region occupied (%): Unknown, possibly 10-20

  • Source: Atlas of Victorian Wildlife, CNR and AHC (1994)

b) Abundance

  • Classification of abundance: Low

  • Population Estimate: Unknown

  • Density: Unknown

  • Home Range (ha): Unknown

  • Source: C. Tzaros pers. comm.

c) Habitat Specificity

  • Classification of habitat specificity: Narrow

  • Vegetation types used in the region: Box Woodland. Eucalypt forests and woodlands primarily with 5 key winter flowering species. The species may also occur in dry forests, dry woodlands, wooded farmlands and suburban parks. Rarely seen in treeless areas, rainforests and wet forests.

  • Source: Emison et al. (1987)

DYNAMICS

Population Trend in Last Decade

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Declined
    Australia wide population census 1320 pairs (1989), 940 pairs (1995)

  • Source: Brereton (1996)

Population trend since discovery by Europeans

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Declined

  • Source: Lumsden et al. (1991)

SPATIAL DYNAMICS

a) Population variability

  • Classification of population variability: High
    Presence linked to flowering patterns of eucalypts

  • Source: Tzaros and Davidson (1996)

b) Dispersal

  • Classification of powers of dispersal: High

  • Average distances dispersed: Birds migrate from Tasmania to south eastern Australia each winter

  • Maximum distance dispersed: 100s km

  • Source: Brereton (1996)

LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS

a) Reproductive output

  • Classification of reproductive output: High, Breeding success varies; dependent on Blue Gum flowering

  • Age of sexual maturity (yrs): Possibly 2 years

  • Mean clutch/litter/brood size: 4-5 eggs

  • Mean no of clutches/litters/broods per year: 1

  • Time of year young born/hatch: October-December

  • Source: Foreshaw and Cooper (1981), Brereton (1996), R. Loyn pers. comm.

b) Longevity

  • Classification of lifespan: Unknown, possibly long-lived

  • Average lifespan (yrs): Possibly 5-6 years

  • Maximum lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Source: C. Tzaros pers. comm.

c) Morphology

Adult body size



  • Weight (g): 77

  • Length (mm): 236

  • Source: Brereton (1996)

d) Social organisation

  • Colonial or non-colonial: Nesting pairs, also gregarious

  • Territoriality: No

  • Source: Brereton (1996)

e) Other

  • Nomadic, migratory, sedentary: Non breeding winter migrant to Victoria

  • Mode of feeding: Primarily nectivore, also eats psyllids and lerps

  • Source: Brereton (1996), Tzaros and Davidson (1996)



THREATS

1. Fire (planned): Ranking (-)

2. Fire (unplanned): Ranking (-)

3. Logging: Ranking (1) Brereton (1996)

4. Introduced Species: Ranking (-)

5. Pest Control: Ranking (-)

6. Grazing: Ranking (-)

7. Disease: Ranking (-)

8. Illegal harvesting: Ranking (0)



9. Non-forestry Clearing: Ranking (1) C. Tzaros pers. comm.

10. Mining/Quarrying: Ranking (-)

11. Roading: Ranking (-)

12 Recreation: Ranking (0)

13. Vandalism/Disturbance by Humans: Ranking (-)

14. Other: Firewood collection: Ranking (1) Brereton (1996)
Current Management:

The Swift Parrot is listed under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and an Action Statement is currently being prepared. The species is also listed under the Commonwealth Endandered Species Protection Act 1992 and an Australia wide Recovery Plan has been published (Brereton 1996). In Victoria, overwinter surveys commenced in 1995 and will run for at least 3 more years (Tzaros and Davidson 1996). The majority of the Central Highlands is not included within the survey area.


Comments: The Swift Parrot is a gregarious arboreal nectivore which breeds in Tasmania and overwinters on the mainland. The over wintering population of Swift Parrots is generally recorded in Victoria from March to October (Tzaros and Davidson 1996). Birds primarily visit box-ironbark vegetation in north east and central Victoria, particularly where winter flowering eucalypts occur (Tzaros and Davidson 1996). Suitable vegetation is restricted within the Central Highlands and the majority of records from this area may be of birds moving through the area. However, there are records of large flocks feeding in flowering Manna Gums at Yellingbo in 1990 (Franklin pers. comm. in Lumsden et al. 1991) and in Plenty Gorge in Yellow Gum woodland. In addition birds may feed on non-indigenous eucalypt species around Melbourne before dispersing (C. Tzaros pers. comm.).
There has been a substantial loss of breeding and overwintering habitat in Australia (Brereton 1996). Although only minor threats in the Central Highlands, logging, firewood collection and clearing for agriculture and development result in habitat loss, particularly of large old trees which produce high nectar yields in winter and are a significant food resource in Victoria (Brereton 1996). A significant number of Swift Parrots are lost through collisions with vehicles and illegal harvesting in Tasmania (Brereton 1996). The importance of these threats in Victoria are unknown and not likely to be significant in the Central Highlands.

Bush Stone-curlew

Burhinus grallarius

RARITY

a) Geographic Range

  • Classification of range size: Small

  • Range size within region: (ha): Minimal

  • Proportion of region occupied (%): Minimal
    There is a one recent record from St Andrews (possibly a dispersing bird)

  • Source: Atlas of Victorian Wildlife, D. Robinson pers. comm.

b) Abundance

  • Classification of abundance: Low

  • Population Estimate: Marginal to area. Victorian estimate 500-1000 breeding pairs

  • Density: Not applicable

  • Home Range (ha): 250-600

  • Source: Robinson (in prep)

c) Habitat Specificity

  • Classification of habitat specificity: Narrow

  • Vegetation types used in the region: Lowland grassy woodland and open forest. EVCs - Valley Forest, Grassy Dry Forest, Box Woodland, Plains Grassy Woodland

  • Source: CNR and AHC (1994), D. Robinson pers. comm.

DYNAMICS

Population Trend in Last Decade

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Declined

  • Source: Johnson and Baker-Gabb (1994)

Population trend since discovery by Europeans

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Declined

  • Source: Johnson and Baker-Gabb (1994)

SPATIAL DYNAMICS

a) Population variability

  • Classification of population variability: Low

  • Source: D. Robinson pers. comm.

b) Dispersal

  • Classification of powers of dispersal: Unknown

  • Average distances dispersed: Unknown

  • Maximum distance dispersed: Unknown

  • Source: D. Robinson pers. comm.

LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS

a) Reproductive output

  • Classification of reproductive output: Low

  • Age of sexual maturity (yrs):

  • Mean clutch/litter/brood size: 2

  • Mean no of clutches/litters/broods per year: 1

  • Time of year young born/hatch: August-March (primarily November-January)

  • Source: Webster and Baker-Gabb (1994), Johnson and Baker-Gabb (1994)

b) Longevity

  • Classification of lifespan: Long-lived

  • Average lifespan (yrs): 10-30

  • Maximum lifespan (yrs): At least 25 years

  • Source: Robinson (in prep), D. Robinson pers. comm.

c) Morphology

Adult body size



  • Weight (g): males 672, females 625 (tropical Australia)

  • Length (mm): 540-600

  • Source: Marchant and Higgins (1993), D. Robinson (in prep)

d) Social organisation

  • Colonial or non-colonial: Usually pairs, occasionally unpaired birds

  • Territoriality: Territories defended during breeding season
    After breeding may form loose flocks

  • Source: Johnson and Baker-Gabb (1994)

e) Other

  • Nomadic, migratory, sedentary: Sedentary

  • Mode of feeding: Primarily insectivore

  • Source: Johnson and Baker-Gabb (1994)



THREATS

1. Fire (planned): Ranking (-)

2. Fire (unplanned): Ranking (-)

3. Logging: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm.

4. Introduced Species: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm.

5. Pest Control: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm.

6. Grazing: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm.

7. Disease: Ranking (-)



8. Illegal harvesting: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm.

9. Non-forestry Clearing: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm.

10. Mining/Quarrying: Ranking (-)

11. Roading: Ranking (-)

12 Recreation: Ranking (-)



13. Vandalism/Disturbance by Humans: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm.

14.Other: Firewood collection: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm.
Current Management:

The Bush Stone-curlew is listed under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and an Action Statement is currently being prepared. There are no current management prescriptions for the species in the Central Highlands.


Comments: The Bush Stone-curlew occurs primarily in lowland grassy woodland and open forest remnants in northern and western Victoria. There is only one current record and very few historical records for the Central Highlands (Atlas of Victorian Wildlife).
Bush Stone-curlews are dependent on woodland remnants with sparse grass cover and abundant fallen timber and tree litter for daytime roosts and feeding habitat (Johnson and Baker-Gabb 1994). Statewide the species has undergone a significant decline as a result of habitat clearance and fragmentation. Existing threats include predation by foxes and cats, weed invasion, clearing for agriculture and associated activities including pasture improvement, cultivation, irrigation, chemical use, grazing and lack of tree regeneration, and removal of trees and fallen timber (Robinson in prep). Egg collecting and shooting may be minor threats across the species’ range but are unlikely to be significant in the Central Highlands (Robinson pers. comm.).

Grey-crowned Babbler

Pomatostomus temporalis

RARITY

a) Geographic Range

  • Classification of range size: Small

  • Range size within region: (ha): Minimal

  • Proportion of region occupied (%): Minimal
    Most recent records from Churchill National Park (1983)

  • Source: Atlas of Victorian Wildlife, D. Robinson pers. comm.

b) Abundance

  • Classification of abundance: Low

  • Population Estimate: Marginal to area-viable populations may no longer occur

  • Density: Not applicable

  • Home Range (ha): 2-53

  • Source: D. Robinson pers. comm., Blakers et al. (1984)

c) Habitat Specificity

  • Classification of habitat specificity: Narrow

  • Vegetation types used in the region: Open forest and woodlands. Rarely recorded in regrowth forests, large forest/woodland patches, forest with dense understorey or sparsely-treed woodland.

  • Source: Robinson (1994)

DYNAMICS

Population Trend in Last Decade

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Declined

  • Source: Robinson (1992)

Population trend since discovery by Europeans

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Declined

  • Source: Robinson (1992)

SPATIAL DYNAMICS

a) Population variability

  • Classification of population variability: Low

  • Source: D. Robinson pers. comm.

b) Dispersal

  • Classification of powers of dispersal: Low

  • Average distances dispersed: < 2 km

  • Maximum distance dispersed: 15 km

  • Source: D. Robinson pers. comm.

LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS

a) Reproductive output

  • Classification of reproductive output: High

  • Age of sexual maturity (yrs): 2-3

  • Mean clutch/litter/brood size: 2-3

  • Mean no of clutches/litters/broods per year: usually 1

  • Time of year young born/hatch: June-February

  • Source: Robinson (1994), D. Robinson pers. comm.

b) Longevity

  • Classification of lifespan: Long-lived

  • Average lifespan (yrs): 4

  • Maximum lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Source: Brown in Robinson (1992), D. Robinson pers. comm.

c) Morphology

Adult body size



  • Weight (g): 45

  • Length (mm): 230-290

  • Source: Robinson (1992), D. Robinson pers. comm.

d) Social organisation

  • Colonial or non-colonial: Colonial

  • Territoriality: Yes
    Breeding groups consist of a breeding pair and helpers

  • Source: Robinson (1994), D. Robinson pers. comm.

e) Other

  • Nomadic, migratory, sedentary: Sedentary

  • Mode of feeding: Primarily insectivore

  • Source: Robinson (1994)



THREATS

1. Fire (planned): Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm., Davidson and Robinson (1992), Adam and Robinson (1996)

2. Fire (unplanned): Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm.

3. Logging: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm.

4. Introduced Species: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm.

5. Pest Control: Ranking (-)



6. Grazing: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm.

7. Disease: Ranking (-)

8. Illegal harvesting: Ranking (-)

9. Non-forestry Clearing: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm., Davidson and Robinson (1992)

10. Mining/Quarrying: Ranking (-)



11. Roading: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm.

12 Recreation: Ranking (-)



13. Vandalism/Disturbance by Humans: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm.

14. Weather: Ranking (-)



15. Other: Tree dieback: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm. Firewood collection: Ranking (1) D. Robinson pers. comm.
Current Management:

The Grey-crowned Babbler is listed under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and an Action Statement has been published (Davidson and Robinson 1992). Intended management actions include: research into aspects of the species’ ecology, a monitoring program to assess current status of all populations with more than five family groups, production of extension material, determination of critical habitat, provision of funds to private land holders to fence off habitat, investigation of existing management of firewood resources and current fire protection practices and the development of site-specific management to maintain and enhance habitat where possible. A Management Plan for the species is currently being prepared .


Comments: The Grey-crowned Babbler occurs primarily in open forests and woodlands, apparently prefering a mixture of open grassy habitat and stands of trees (Robinson 1994). It is most abundant in strips of mature remnant woodland vegetation where an open ground layer is provided in adjoining paddocks. The species has undergone a decline, with extant populations now largely in northern Victoria (Robinson 1992). In the Central Highlands, a population from Churchill National Park was last recorded in 1983 and may no longer occur there. Existing threats include the fragmentation and degradation of suitable habitat by grazing, removal of fallen timber, tree dieback, predation by foxes and cats, fire protection works (ploughing, burning) along roadsides, weed invasion and mortalities by vehicles (Robinson, pers. comm.).

Square-tailed Kite

Lophoictinia isura

RARITY

a) Geographic Range

  • Classification of range size: Large

  • Range size within region: (ha): Approximately 400 000 -500 000

  • Proportion of region occupied (%): Approximately 50
    There are 12 records for the species on the Atlas of Victorian Wildlife within the Central Highlands

  • Source: CNRandAHC (1994), Atlas of Victorian Wildlife


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