Nesting, foraging and aggression of noisy miners relative to road edges in an extensive Queensland forest

Maron, Martine (2009) Nesting, foraging and aggression of noisy miners relative to road edges in an extensive Queensland forest. Emu: Austral Ornithology, 109 (1). pp. 75-81. ISSN 0158-4197


Increased abundance of noisy miners (Manorina melanocephala), a large, aggressive honeyeater, is one of the most important mechanisms through which habitat fragmentation and degradation threaten populations of eastern Australian woodland birds. In inland Queensland, however, noisy miners dominate avian assemblages throughout extensive forest areas as well as fragmented landscapes, and our understanding of the factors influencing their behaviour and habitat selection in such relatively intact landscapes is limited. I investigated how road edges influenced noisy miners by comparing the species’ aggressive and foraging behaviour, and location of nests, between road-edge and interior transects in a southern
Queensland forest. I also investigated noisy miner foraging microhabitat preferences and targets of aggression. Noisy Miner nests were more likely to be located near to road edges, but foraging and aggressive interactions occurred with similar frequency near and far from road edges. Such interactions selectively targeted close competitors and a nest predator. Most foraging activity was in the canopy, and selectively within ironbarks (Eucalyptus spp.), suggesting that higher densities of noisy miners in more open areas of the forest are unlikely to be related to facilitation of ground-foraging activity. Despite some evidence of a preference for nesting near road openings, road edges do not appear to influence noisy miners as strongly as edges between forest and agricultural land do elsewhere in eastern Australia.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version, due to publisher's copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2010 11:38
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2014 22:47
Uncontrolled Keywords: brigalow belt; competition; interspecific aggression; nest location; abundance; aggression; agricultural land; dominance; endangered species; facilitation; foraging behavior; habitat fragmentation; habitat selection; interspecific competition; microhabitat; nest predation; nesting; passerine; preference behavior; road construction
Fields of Research : 06 Biological Sciences > 0608 Zoology > 060801 Animal Behaviour
05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050103 Invasive Species Ecology
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960405 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species at Regional or Larger Scales
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1071/MU08064

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