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)

7. Recovery Objectives, Criteria and Actions (continued)

Objective 4 Monitor Black-eared Miner colonies

Numbers and quality of birds in colonies need to be monitored to identify the most valuable colonies to the Recovery Program, those that may be an avenue for genetic introgression, and for determining the effect of management actions and translocations.

Criteria

  • At least ten community volunteers and agency staff trained each year and contributing essential monitoring data. Biological samples collected from over 50 birds each year.

Action 4.1 Implement the monitoring protocol

  • Monitor selected breeding colonies using the established protocol to determine size, composition, phenotypic quality and trends.

Responsibility: Consultant

Source
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Consultant
Other
2
6
2
2
2
8
2
4
2
8
Total Cost
8
4
10
6
10

Action 4.2 Train more observers to score phenotype of Black-eared Miners

  • Train more volunteers and agency staff to use the simple field identification technique (Clarke and Clarke 1998, 1999a) to assist ongoing monitoring.

Responsibility: Consultant

Source
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Consultant
BA
Other
.5
.5
1
.5
.5
1
.5
.5
1
.5
.5
1
.5
.5
1
Total Cost
2
2
2
2
2

Action 4.3 Determine movement patterns between colonies

  • Assist volunteers to determine dispersal of colour-banded birds away from and between colonies.

Responsibility: ALT, BA, Consultant

Source
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
ALT
BA
Consultant
3
3
1
3
3
1
3
3
1
3
3
0
3
3
0
Total Cost
7
7
7
6
6

Action 4.4 Continue to identify the priority colonies

  • Assess phenotype, threats and vulnerability to identify priorities for colony protection and translocation, and as a basis for monitoring changes in quality over time.

Responsibility: Consultant, BeMRT

Source
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Consultant
BeMRT
Other
3
2
5
3
2
5
3
2
5
3
2
5
3
2
5
Total Cost
10
10
10
10
10

Objective 5 Control genetic introgression of the Black-eared Miner

Genetic introgression is a major current threat which is promoted by habitat fragmentation and degradation. The key issue is to prevent the flow of Yellow-throated Miner genes into colonies containing Black-eared Miners.

Criteria

  • A key threatening process controlled through the removal of selected colonies of Yellow-throated Miners and (see Action 3.4) decommissioning of dams.

Action 5.1 Interpret results and develop a control protocol

Interpret the efficacy of the trial control program and field sampling to define the extent of introgression, the location and feasibility of remedial action to counter introgression, and the development of a protocol for the removal of problem Yellow-throated Miners and colonies.

Responsibility: Consultant

Source
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Consultant
Other
1
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Total Cost
5
0
0
0
0

Action 5.2 Implement and monitor on-ground control of introgression

  • Identify, cull and monitor the removal of Yellow-throated Miners and their colonies, particularly those in close proximity to Black-eared Miner colonies.

Responsibility: Consultant

Source
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Consultant
Other
1
9
1
9
1
9
1
9
1
9
Total Cost
10
10
10
10
10

Objective 6 Maintain captive populations of Black-eared Miners

The captive populations play a key role by enabling experimental manipulation in a controlled environment, increasing staff expertise, and raising community awareness. Zoo staff have played a vital role in successful trial translocations.

Criteria

  • Zoo staff participate in annual translocations, achieve captive breeding success similar to wild populations, produce a husbandry manual, and help raise community awareness.

Action 6.1 Maintain captive colonies of Black-eared Miners

  • Maintain captive colonies of hybrid Black-eared Miners at Healesville Sanctuary, Adelaide Zoo and Monarto to test population manipulation techniques and improve captive breeding techniques.
  • Display excess birds and interpret the activities of the Recovery Program to the general public.

Responsibility: ZPGB, RZSSA, DEH

Source
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
ZPGB
RZSSA
DEH
30
15
15
30
15
15
40
15
15
40
15
15
40
15
15
Total Cost
60
60
70
70
70

Action 6.2 Use experience with captive birds to assist translocations

  • Involve zoo staff in animal care, transport, veterinary and hand-rearing tasks during translocations.

Responsibility: RZSSA, ZPGB, DEH

Source
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
RZSSA
ZPGB
DEH
15
15
5
15
15
5
15
15
5
15
15
5
15
15
5
Total Cost
35
35
35
35
35

Action 6.3 Prepare a captive management plan

  • Include in a captive management plan locations of captive colonies, numbers in captivity, disease assessment, maintenance of studbook and preparation of a husbandry manual.

Responsibility: ZPGB, RZSSA

Source
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
ZPGB
RZSSA
DEH
2
.5
.5
2
.5
.5
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Total Cost
3
3
0
0
0

Objective 7 Increase numbers and quality of Black-eared Miner colonies in Victoria and New South Wales

Bookmark is the single area known to contain large numbers of Black-eared Miners, and as such the species faces a high risk of extinction from wildfire. Establishing viable populations of the species in other regions is fundamental to reducing the extinction risk and achieving the long-term of goal of the Recovery Plan. The trial translocation in 2000 of four colonies containing 69 birds from Bookmark to Murray-Sunset National Park in Victoria was outstandingly successful.

Criteria

  • The number of Black-eared Miners in Victoria and NSW is tripled in five years through translocations.

Action 7.1 Translocations of South Australian birds to Victoria

  • Translocate c250 birds (13 colonies) from South Australia to Victoria over three years and monitor the impact on both recipient and donor populations.

Responsibility: Consultant, PV, NRE, DEH, BA, ALT, ZPGB, RZSSA

Source
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Consultant
PV
NRE
DEH
BA
ALT
ZPGB
RZSSA
Other
5
10
5
1
1
1
20
10
60
5
10
5
1
1
1
20
10
63
5
5
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
5
10
5
1
0
0
20
10
69
5
5
1
0
1
1
0
0
36
Total Cost
113
116
11
112
47

Action 7.2 Translocation of South Australian birds to New South Wales

  • Translocate c100 birds (5 colonies) from South Australia to New South Wales in one year and monitor the impact on both recipient and donor populations.

Responsibility: Consultant, NPWS, DEH, BA, ALT, ZPGB, RZSSA

Source
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Consultant
NPWS
DEH
BA
ALT
ZPGB
RZSSA
Other
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
5
0
0
0
0
0
0
5
15
1
1
1
20
10
66
5
5
0
0
0
0
0
0
5
5
0
0
0
0
0
36
Total Cost
0
5
119
10
46

Action 7.3. Collect biological samples from translocated Black-eared Miners

  • Collect faecal samples to test for the presence of diseases, particularly in Victoria.
  • Collect blood samples from translocated birds for sex determination.

Responsibility: Consultant

Source
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Consultant
Other
1
4
1
4
1
4
1
4
1
4
Total Cost
5
5
5
5
5

Action 7.4. Translocation termination criteria

  • Develop criteria to determine when the translocation program should cease.

Responsibility: Consultant

Source
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Consultant
Other
1
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Total Cost
5
0
0
0
0

Objective 8 Use population viability modelling

  • Computer simulations can be beneficial in guiding decision-making when dealing with populations of endangered species, help refine targets for recovery, and predict the effect of management actions.

Criteria

  • A Population Viability assessment model is produced which helps refine targets, particularly with respect to translocations and genetic introgression.

Action 8.1 A PVA model specifically for the Black-eared Miner

  • Develop a PVA model specific to the Black-eared Miner which includes introgressive hybridisation as a threatening process in a cooperatively breeding bird.

Responsibility: BeMRT

Source
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
Other
0
25
0
0
0
Total Cost
0
25
0
0
0

Objective 9 Communication to increase community awareness and involvement

Volunteers, and especially those from Birds Australia, Australian Landscape Trust, and La Trobe University have made a major contribution to fund raising, field surveys, monitoring and manipulation. Community volunteers manage most of the Bookmark Biosphere Reserve where Black-eared Miners occur. Community participation in endangered species recovery programs can increase the likelihood of successful outcomes.

Criteria

  • Land managers and Country Fire Service fully aware and participating in the Recovery Program, at least ten new volunteers actively involved each year, and two media stories circulated to the general public annually.

Action 9.1 Involve the community in the Recovery Program

Involve Australian Landscape Trust, Birds Australia and other volunteers in the Black-eared Miner Recovery Program, particularly in training, surveys and monitoring.

Responsibility: BeMRT, BA, ALT

Source
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
BeMRT
BA
ALT
Other
1
5
2
2
1
5
2
2
1
5
2
2
1
5
2
2
1
5
2
2
Total Cost
10
10
10
10
10

Action 9.2 Communicate information on the Black-eared Miner and the Recovery Program

  • Ensure that the coordinated Fire Response Plan and Fire Management Plan (see Action 3.1) for Bookmark are communicated to the Country Fire Service and other stakeholders.
  • Prepare an annual review of the Black-eared Miner Recovery Program for contributing agencies and participants.
  • Provide an annual summary of results for the general public and media information on 'one-off' events such as successful translocations.

Responsibility: BeMRT

Source
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
BeMRT
Other
5
2
5
2
5
2
5
2
5
2
Total Cost
7
7
7
7
7

Action 9.3 Produce a media strategy

  • Prepare and distribute a media strategy with a media kit, information for contributing organisations' web sites, and displays to the general public.

Responsibility: ZPGB, RZSSA

Source
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
ZPGB
RZSSA
10
10
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Total Cost
20
0
0
0
0