National recovery plan for the Black-eared Miner Manorina melanotis 2002 - 2006

Conservation of old-growth dependent mallee fauna
Prepared by David Baker-Gabb for the Black-eared Miner Recovery Team, February 2001
(Revised February 2003)

6. Broad Recovery Goals and Criteria

Broad directions for recovery for the duration of this Recovery Plan will be:

  • Providing greater security for habitat from wildfire and other threats, particularly in South Australia.
  • Controlling genetic introgression.
  • Monitoring trends in numbers and colony quality.
  • Supplementing isolated colonies at three sites in Victoria (eastern and western Murray-Sunset National Park, and Wyperfeld National Park) and New South Wales (Tarawi Nature Reserve) with birds translocated from South Australia.

The short-term goal of the 1997-2001 Recovery Plan was to stabilise the species within the Critically Endangered category (Backhouse et al 1997). More than this was achieved in four years with the Black-eared Miner's status improving to Endangered (Garnett and Crowley 2000). Achieving the short-term goal of this Recovery Plan will see a further improvement with the status of the Black-eared Miner still being Endangered but moving towards Vulnerable (IUCN 1996). Attaining the Recovery Plan's long-term goal should result in removal of the Black-eared Miner from an IUCN threat category included under the EPBC Act 1999, but it would still be Conservation Dependent and require ongoing management works.

Short-term Goal

In five years to expand the current range and numbers of the Black-eared Miner in at least three locations and to improve the quality of selected colonies.

Recovery criteria:

  1. no loss of habitat or colonies in large reserves
  2. increasing knowledge of colony numbers, quality and population density in SA
  3. increasing the number colonies and tripling the number of birds to 400 in Victoria
  4. increasing the number of colonies and tripling the number of birds to 150 in NSW
  5. implementing measures to increase the quality of colonies in three States
  6. using experience developed with captive birds to assist recovery in the wild

Long-term Goal

Within 20 years to achieve and maintain a population of high-quality Black-eared Miners with a total effective2 population size of at least 1000 mature individuals in viable populations at least five separate locations across its known former range.

Recovery criteria:

  • maintaining at least the current range and numbers in South Australia
  • further increasing the number of birds and colonies at three sites in Victoria
  • further increasing the number of birds and colonies at one site in NSW
  • increasing the quality of colonies as a result of threat control and manipulation

2 In the Bookmark Biosphere Reserve there are currently over 200 colonies containing more than 3,600 birds, of which about 1,400 birds are Black-eared Miners, the rest being hybrids. However, there are many non-breeding helpers in colonies and the effective breeding population is about 2,000 birds including 760 Black-eared Miners.