Maron, Martine and Lill, Alan (2004) Discrimination among potential buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii) feeding trees by the endangered south-eastern redtailed black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii graptogyne). Wildlife Research, 31 (3). pp. 311-317. ISSN 1035-3712
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Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1071/WR03079
Remnant buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii) woodland and scattered buloke trees appear to provide an important seasonal food resource for the endangered south-eastern `. The factors that differed between buloke trees in which the cockatoos fed and those in which they did not feed were investigated in two consecutive years (Season 1 and Season 2). Tree diameter at breast height (DBH), individual mean seed dry mass, individual mean cone dry mass, mean number of seeds per cone, and proportion of total cone massmprising seeds (seed ratio) were all significantly greater in feeding than non-feeding trees in both Season 1 and Season 2. A predictive model incorporating these five variables correctly classified 82% of trees measured in Season 1 as either feeding or non-feeding trees. Validation of predictive models with new data is essential in evaluating model performance, and so the model was used to classify the feeding and non-feeding trees from which the variables were recorded during Season 2. The model, although derived only from the data collected during Season 1, was equally as effective in predicting the feeding status of trees in Season 2, despite the fact that trees the cockatoos fed in during the second year were not the same individual trees as those used in the previous year. The differences between feeding and non-feeding trees suggest that cockatoos choose to feed in trees in which they are able to optimise their foraging efficiency. As individual buloke trees appear to vary in their suitability for cockatoo foraging from year to year, it is not possible to exclude any buloke within the range of the cockatoo as a potential future food resource for this endangered bird.
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