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What determines habitat quality for a declining woodland bird in a fragmented environment: the grey-crowned babbler pomatostomus temporalis in South-Eastern Australia?

Stevens, Kate P., Holland, Greg J., Clarke, Rohan H., Cooke, Raylene and Bennett, Andrew F. 2015, What determines habitat quality for a declining woodland bird in a fragmented environment: the grey-crowned babbler pomatostomus temporalis in South-Eastern Australia?, PLoS one, vol. 10, no. 6, pp. 1-14, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130738.

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Title What determines habitat quality for a declining woodland bird in a fragmented environment: the grey-crowned babbler pomatostomus temporalis in South-Eastern Australia?
Author(s) Stevens, Kate P.
Holland, Greg J.
Clarke, Rohan H.
Cooke, RayleneORCID iD for Cooke, Raylene orcid.org/0000-0002-8843-7113
Bennett, Andrew F.
Journal name PLoS one
Volume number 10
Issue number 6
Start page 1
End page 14
Total pages 14
Publisher Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Place of publication San Fransico, Calif.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1932-6203
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS
LANDSCAPE
VICTORIA
HELPERS
ECOLOGY
DISTRIBUTIONS
SELECTION
MODELS
REGION
SIZE
Summary Understanding what constitutes high quality habitat is crucial for the conservation of species, especially those threatened with extinction. Habitat quality frequently is inferred by comparing the attributes of sites where a species is present with those where it is absent. However, species presence may not always indicate high quality habitat. Demographic parameters are likely to provide a more biologically relevant measure of quality, including a species' ability to successfully reproduce. We examined factors believed to influence territory quality for the grey-crowned babbler (Pomatostomus temporalis), a cooperatively breeding woodland bird that has experienced major range contraction and population decline in south-eastern Australia. Across three broad regions, we identified active territories and determined the presence of fledglings and the size of family groups, as surrogates of territory quality. These measures were modelled in relation to habitat attributes within territories, the extent of surrounding wooded vegetation, isolation from neighbouring groups, and the size of the neighbourhood population. Fledgling presence was strongly positively associated with group size, indicating that helpers enhance breeding success. Surprisingly, no other territory or landscape-scale variables predicted territory quality, as inferred from either breeding success or group size. Relationships between group size and environmental variables may be obscured by longer-term dynamics in group size. Variation in biotic interactions, notably competition from the noisy miner (Manorina melanocephala), also may contribute. Conservation actions that enhance the number and size of family groups will contribute towards reversing declines of this species. Despite associated challenges, demographic studies have potential to identify mechanistic processes that underpin population performance; critical knowledge for effective conservation management.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0130738
Field of Research 050104 Landscape Ecology
Socio Economic Objective 960505 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Forest and Woodlands Environments
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30075097

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.