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Paying the extinction debt: woodland birds in the Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australia

Szabo, Judith k., Vesk, Peter A., Baxter, Peter W. J. and Possingham, Hugh P. (2011). Paying the extinction debt: woodland birds in the Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australia. Emu: Austral Ornithology,111(1):59-70.

Document type: Journal Article

IRMA ID 82057923xPUB94
Title Paying the extinction debt: woodland birds in the Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australia
Author Szabo, Judith k.
Vesk, Peter A.
Baxter, Peter W. J.
Possingham, Hugh P.
Journal Name Emu: Austral Ornithology
Publication Date 2011
Volume Number 111
Issue Number 1
ISSN 0158-4197   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-79955424217
Start Page 59
End Page 70
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Approximately 90% of the original woodlands of the Mount Lofty Ranges of South Australia has been cleared, modified or fragmented, most severely in the last 60 years, and affecting the avifauna dependent on native vegetation. This study identifies which woodland-dependent species are still declining in two different habitats, Pink Gum–Blue Gum woodland and Stringybark woodland. We analyse the Mount Lofty Ranges Woodland Bird Long-Term Monitoring Dataset for 1999–2007, to look for changes in abundance of 59 species. We use logistic regression of prevalence on lists in a Bayesian framework, and List Length Analysis to control for variation in detectability. Compared with Reporting Rate Analysis, a more traditional approach, List Length Analysis provides tighter confidence intervals by accounting for changing detectability. Several common species were declining significantly. Increasers were generally large-bodied generalists. Many birds have already disappeared from this modified and naturally isolated woodland island, and our results suggest that more specialist insectivores are likely to follow. The Mount Lofty Ranges can be regarded as a ‘canary landscape’ for temperate woodlands elsewhere in Australia – without immediate action their bird communities are likely to follow the trajectory of the Mount Lofty Ranges avifauna. Alternatively, with extensive habitat restoration and management, we could avoid paying the extinction debt.
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Created: Fri, 17 Jan 2014, 00:52:06 CST