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)

1. Introduction

The Black-eared Miner Manorina melanotis (Wilson 1911) formerly occurred in the Murray Mallee region of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, but is no longer present over much of its historical range. Few birds remain in Victoria and New South Wales, with most colonies now confined to the Bookmark Biosphere Reserve about 50 km north-west of Renmark in South Australia. An intensive management program is under way to save the Black-eared Miner from extinction.

Several publications have highlighted the rarity and plight of the bird in the past (Favaloro 1966; Considine 1986; Starks 1988). A Recovery Program for the species commenced in Victoria in 1991, with subsequent actions based on plans by Fitzherbert et al (1992), Middleton (1993), and McLaughlin (1993b).

Clarification of the taxonomic status of the Black-eared Miner resulted in a commitment from regional, State and national organisations and agencies to save the species, and the production of a national Recovery Plan (Backhouse et al 1995). This plan was in turn revised when in 1995 many colonies of Black-eared Miners were discovered in the Bookmark Biosphere Reserve (Backhouse et al 1997). This latest (2002-2006) Recovery Plan sets out the actions required to continue and build on the successes already achieved in the recovery of this endangered species.

This Recovery Plan conforms to the requirements of the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. It is intended to be the national Recovery Plan for the Black-eared Miner, so that local plans and actions in relevant States clearly originate from the national plan. Subsidiary documents will be prepared as required under relevant State legislation to provide further detail of implementation within that State.