Noisy Scrub-bird (Atrichornis clamosus) Recovery Plan

Alan Danks1, Andrew A. Burbidge2, Allan H. Burbidge2 and Graeme T. Smith3
ISSN 0816-9713

2. Existing conservation measures

2.1 Creation of Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve

At the time of the rediscovery of the Noisy Scrub-bird late in 1961, the Two Peoples Bay area was a collection of unvested reserves and vacant Crown land. The area was used by professional fishermen and there was a growing number of squatters' holiday shacks near the southern end of Two Peoples Bay. Consideration was being given to the declaration of a town site, to be known as Casuarina, to cater for holiday makers and anglers (Chatfield in prep., Coy et al. a in prep.).

Confirmation of the scrub-bird's presence began a process which, through the efforts of many conservationists, including H.R.H. the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, eventually resulted in the cancellation of the town site and the gazettal, in 1967, of the Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve with the purpose 'Conservation of Fauna'. As a Class A reserve, the tenure and purpose can only be changed through an Act of the Western Australian Parliament.

The first written management plan for the nature reserve was adopted in 1971. Public use of Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve is restricted and no camping is allowed. Nevertheless, the reserve is a popular tourist destination in the Albany area and receives about 35 000 visitors per annum. A Reserve Manager has been stationed on the reserve since 1970 and the staffing level was increased to two in 1985 with the appointment of an assistant. A new, more comprehensive draft Management Plan (according to the provisions of the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984) was released for public comment in June 1993 (CALM 1993). Following analysis of public submissions to the draft, a final Management Plan was prepared and has been approved by the Minister for the Environment. Under this Plan the Reserve is proposed to become a National Park.

2.2 Ecological research

Initial studies on the Noisy Scrub-bird were reported by Webster (1962b). CSIRO involvement with the Noisy Scrub-bird started in 1966 with the transfer of Canberra biologist F.N. Robinson to Perth. Robinson commenced a part-time study, concentrating on vocal behaviour, but also started some ecological studies, including surveys of former locations and other areas where the species may have survived. Much of this work was done in collaboration with the late H.O. Webster. In 1968 the Western Australian Wildlife Authority (in which the Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve was vested) decided to ask the then CSIRO Division of Wildlife Research to expand its work at Two Peoples Bay. Following discussions with the Chief of the Division, Dr H.J. Frith, a research proposal was agreed to, and a research scientist, Dr G.T. Smith, was appointed, commencing work in June 1970. As well as studying the ecology of the Noisy Scrub-bird, Smith also studied the Western Bristlebird and Western Whipbird, additional threatened birds that occur at Two Peoples Bay.

These ecological studies continued until mid-1977; however, monitoring the Noisy Scrub-bird population continued until 1985, assisted by G.L. Folley of then Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. After 1985, the senior author undertook the bulk of the monitoring and CSIRO involvement ceased at the end of 1988. Opportunities for further research on scrub-birds have been provided by the translocation program because it involves regular capture of birds that are difficult to observe in the wild. Recent studies have included post-release radio-telemetry of translocated birds, diet studies and determination of prey availability.

2.3 Captive breeding

The small population and an apparent decline in the number of singing males at Mt Gardner in the late 1960s lead to an attempt to breed the Noisy Scrub-bird in captivity (Davies et al. 1982, Smith et al. 1983). If successful, captive breeding might have provided birds for reintroduction to new sites. In 1975 and 1976 four nestling Noisy Scrub-birds were removed from nests at Two Peoples Bay and taken to Perth where they were hand-reared and became the founders of a captive population at the CSIRO's Helena Valley Research Station. In 1979, when access of the male to the females was controlled, he successfully mated with all three females. Unfortunately, the chicks died soon after hatching. However, one of the females nested again later in the same breeding season, and raised her chick to adulthood - this was the only captive born chick to reach adulthood. Two chicks which died in the following year were diagnosed to have suffered from nutrient deficiencies (Smith et al. 1983). The program was terminated in 1981.

Although not successful in reaching its main objective the program did show that it was possible to hand rear scrub-bird chicks, to maintain the birds in captivity for long periods and to get them to mate, nest and lay eggs in captivity. Observation of the captive birds also improved knowledge of their breeding biology and behaviour. The program highlighted difficulties with aviary management, food production and nestling mortality and was very expensive.

2.4Habitat management

Noisy Scrub-birds require vegetation which has not been burnt for relatively long periods (see section 1.3). The aim of habitat management is therefore to maintain occupied and potential habitat free of fire for as long as possible. As mentioned previously, it is possible that very long periods without fire may result in reduced suitability for scrub-birds although there is no evidence of this to date. If there is an upper limit to the post-fire age suitability of scrub-bird habitat it is likely to first show up in the Mt Gardner area because the post-fire ages of vegetation communities in this area are much older than in other areas occupied by scrub-birds. Population and habitat monitoring must continue in this area so that any detrimental successional changes can be detected.

Unfortunately, increasing post-fire age also produces a large build up of fuels which could mean more extensive and damaging wildfires. The growth of granite community vegetation over very long periods can reduce the area of exposed rock thereby limiting the ability of these areas to act as firebreaks during fire events. Successful fire exclusion necessarily means considerable effort must be put into protection and suppression measures.

To protect an area from wildfires originating outside the area may require the construction of firebreaks and/or fuel reduction burning in strategic locations. Fire prevention within an area may require control of visitor activities, the enforcement of fire regulations and constant surveillance during fire-risk periods and the development of contingency plans for dealing with fires within or threatening the area. Wildfires caused by lightning strike or people in locations remote from vehicle access present a particular problem and their effective control requires specially trained ground crews.

Dieback disease, caused by the fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi, kills many plant species and causes extensive and dramatic damage to many plant formations. Broadscale mapping of Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve over the period 1989 - 1992 has shown that the reserve is extensively infected. The fungus has probably been present at Two Peoples Bay for many decades (Hart in prep.) and its effects pre-date research into Noisy Scrub-birds. In the short term it is likely that infection could have significant detrimental effects on scrub-bird habitat, but in the longer term re-invasion by resistant species of plants, eg, sedges, can lead to the development of habitat that continues to support breeding birds. The continuing growth of the scrub-bird population on Mt Gardner in spite of the presence of P. cinnamomi is evidence for this.

While the effects of dieback disease on scrub-bird populations may be tolerable in the longer term, great care needs to be taken to prevent further spread of the disease, especially to translocation release areas where it may have devastating results for other threatened species as well as reducing the suitability of habitat for scrub-birds during the initial phase of population establishment. Effective vehicle and boot hygiene methods and accurate dieback maps are needed to limit artificial spread of the disease.

2.4.1 Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve

From the time of rediscovery until the establishment of additional, translocated populations, all Noisy Scrub-birds were contained within Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve. Prevention and control of wildfire was the most important aspect of reserve management. A number of firebreaks were constructed and a low fuel buffer system developed. Successful exclusion of fire from scrub-bird habitat allowed the vegetation to mature, increasing its suitability for scrub-birds and resulted in a steady increase in numbers (Figure 3).

Despite the establishment of other subpopulations (see section 2.4) Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve remains the single most important area for scrub-birds. Although the Mt Gardner area no longer (1994) contains the largest number of singing males, it presumably contains all or almost all of the species' genetic variability. It is also likely to continue to be the major source of birds for the translocation program. Continued protection and management of scrub-bird habitat within Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve is therefore an essential part of Noisy Scrub-bird recovery.

Scrub-bird habitat burnt by wildfires becomes unsuitable for Noisy Scrub-birds for varying periods. The wetter gullies and lake edges may regenerate fast enough to become suitable again within four to ten years, but other, less moist areas may not become suitable for decades. Frequent or extensive fires in scrub-bird habitat would render it useless for scrub-bird conservation. Between 1964 and 1994 no wildfire affected habitat occupied by Noisy Scrub-birds. A lightning strike on Mt Gardner in December 1989 burnt an area adjacent to occupied habitat that may have been used by scrub-birds. Fortunately, cool conditions and rapid suppression actions by CALM staff allowed the fire to be contained within a very small area. In January 1992, lightning caused a wildfire which burnt an area containing two scrub-bird territories at the eastern edge of the Mt Manypeaks population.

2.4.2 Other areas

In the absence of a full management plan, Interim Management Guidelines for the Waychinicup area (which includes Waychinicup National Park Stage 1 and part of Stage 2 as well as Mt Manypeaks Nature Reserve) have been written as a guide to management actions and directions. The Mt Manypeaks area in 1994 contained the greatest number of singing male scrub-birds and, in the absence of fire, the population is likely to continue to increase. This area also houses important populations of Western Whipbird, Western Bristlebird and Ground Parrot in addition to Noisy Scrub-birds. The exclusion of fire from the mountain range is a major strategy in these guidelines.

A fire management strategy for the Angove Creek Catchment Area (vested in the Western Australian Water Authority (WAWA)), where a small but important population concentration of scrub-birds now occurs, is being developed in association with WAWA. The Mt Taylor area in Gull Rock National Park will be covered by an Interim Management Guidelines when this area becomes managed by CALM.

The management of other areas associated with Noisy Scrub-birds such as the Nuyts Wilderness release site in Walpole - Nornalup National Park and potential release sites in Leeuwin - Naturaliste National Park, are covered by area management plans. No area management plan or interim guidelines yet exist for Quarram Nature Reserve.

2.5 Translocation

The establishment of new populations by translocation of wild-caught scrub-birds will provide additional security against wildfire, the major threat to the species and will allow the total population to expand and grow more rapidly to a greater size than would be possible on Mt Gardner.

2.5.1 History of Noisy Scrub-bird translocations

Translocation of the Noisy Scrub-bird was first attempted as an experiment in 1983 when D.V. Merton of the New Zealand Wildlife Service (now part of the New Zealand Department of Conservation), G.L. Folley of the former Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the senior author developed techniques for capture and transfer of scrub-birds. Capture techniques have been improved with time and experience but the same basic strategy of capture in the wild, temporary holding in captivity, transport and release at a pre-selected release site, followed by monitoring of the release area and the donor population, has been followed since 1983. Danks (1994) gives an overview of Noisy Scrub-bird translocations from 1983 to 1992.

In June and July 1983 ten male scrub-birds and four females were released in two large gullies north-west of the main peak of Mount Manypeaks about 15 km east of Mt Gardner. A further two females were translocated to these gullies in November of the same year. By the winter of 1984 at least four of the translocated males were defending territories. Another two singing males were detected in early 1985.

A further 16 scrub-birds from Two Peoples Bay were released at four separate sites in the Mt Manypeaks area in 1985. Territorial males sang at most of these sites for several months following release but, one year later in the 1986 breeding season, no scrub-birds were detected at the 1985 release sites. Males continued to sing at the 1983 sites and other males established themselves in other locations on the mountain. In 1988, five years after the first releases, there were more males singing on Mt Manypeaks than had been released, indicating local breeding was occurring. Since then the number of singing males has increased rapidly and they have spread into almost every gully between Normans Inlet and the Waychinicup River. In 1994 the number of singing males on Mt Manypeaks reached 223 representing 47.1% of the total for the area between Oyster Harbour and Cheyne Beach.

In 1986 and 1987 a total of 31 (16 males, 15 females) Noisy Scrub-birds from Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve were released in two areas in the Nuyts Wilderness area of Walpole - Nornalup National Park 150 km west of Two Peoples Bay. Three males were heard singing in one of these areas late in 1986 and, in 1988, two were heard in the second release area. However, despite regular searching, no others have been detected and this transfer is deemed to have failed. The cause of this failure is not known but, as capture, transfer and release techniques were almost identical to those used at Mt Manypeaks, it is likely that site-related factors may be involved.

Based on habitat similarities between Owingup Swamp in Quarram Nature Reserve and the Lakes area at Two Peoples Bay where scrub-birds were flourishing, a translocation to Quarram was undertaken in 1989 and again in 1990. Although four males were heard singing in the release area shortly after the 1989 translocation, no further males have been detected. The apparent failure of this transfer may be related to the reasons for the decline in number around Lake Gardner that occurred in 1988 and 1991, which was thought to be due to flooding.

The discovery, in 1988, of a single male in the Mt Taylor area, 14 km west of Mt Gardner, signalled the presence of suitable habitat and it was considered likely that a small subpopulation could be quickly established there by translocation from Two Peoples Bay. The initial release, in 1990, consisted of five males and two females and a further two females were released in 1991 when six males were singing in the area. Another male and two females were released in 1992, when only five singing males were counted; however, in May 1993, the number of singing males had increased to nine. By August 1994 there were 12 singing males in the area around Mt Taylor.

The small number of birds involved in the Mt Taylor translocations represented a departure from previous strategies when 15 to 18 males and a similar number of females were transferred to each release area. At Mt Taylor, only one female was released with the initial batch of males. More females followed only after persistence of males at the site had proven its suitability for Noisy Scrub-birds. Subsequent translocations have used a similar strategy: a small group of males is released initially and their persistence monitored. If these males continue to defend territories in the release area females are then translocated.

In 1992 translocations were initiated to the Mermaid area (Figure 2.) and, following approval by the Director of Nature Conservation and the National Parks and Nature Conservation Authority, to Bald Island Nature Reserve. Five male scrub-birds were introduced to Bald Island, courtesy of the Channel 10 helicopter, in June 1992. Monitoring in April and May 1993 revealed that at least two survived the summer, suggesting that there was a good chance of establishing a population on the island following further introductions. Since then three females and three males have been added to those already on the island and monitoring in 1994 revealed six males singing.

The most recent translocation of Noisy Scrub-birds occurred in June 1994 when five males were released at Stony Hill in Torndirrup National Park south of Albany.

In summary, up to 1994, a total of 125 Noisy Scrub-birds have been translocated to seven areas over a period of eleven years. Translocations to Mt Manypeaks and Mt Taylor, both relatively close to Two Peoples Bay and therefore close to the species' known historical range on the south coast, can be considered successful. The two more distant translocations, Nuyts Wilderness and Quarram, have apparently failed. Translocations to the Mermaid area, Bald Island and Stony Hill are too recent for evaluation. Longer term success with local breeding and rapid population growth has so far occurred only in the Mt Manypeaks area. Experience has shown that the creation of a thriving population by translocation may take ten years from the initial selection of release sites.

2.5.2 Reasons for failure of some translocations

The reasons for the lack of success at Quarram and Nuyts are not known, but habitat suitability is an obvious possibility. It is important to try to understand why these translocations of scrub-birds have been unsuccessful so that procedures for site selection and transfer techniques can be improved. Griffiths et al. (1990) surveyed 134 translocations of birds (including the translocation of Noisy Scrub-birds to Mt Manypeaks) and 64 translocations of mammals in four countries over the period 1973 to 1986. Only 44% of these translocations were considered successful. Their data show that the habitat quality of the release area is the most important determinant for successful translocation and that releasing large numbers of animals does little to increase the probability of success of translocations. Experience with translocation of scrub-birds since 1983 is consistent with these findings.

Following the significant reduction in numbers of singing males in the Lakes population in 1988, fox control was instigated within the Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve. A further sudden drop in numbers recurred in 1991 and the decline has continued despite a reduction in fox numbers, suggesting that foxes are not implicated in these population declines. However, numbers of Southern Brown Bandicoots (Isoodon obesulus) in the reserve appear to have increased significantly since 1988, consistent with results of fox control elsewhere (Kinnear et al. 1988, King and Kinnear 1991). Fox control has been intensified on the nature reserve since the rediscovery there of Gilbert's Potoroo (Potorous tridactylus gilbertii) in November 1994.

Birds released into unfamiliar habitat are likely to face higher levels of predation and exposure. Predation by the fox, although not considered to have impacted on the scrub-bird population living in dense habitat at Two Peoples Bay, may have been a factor in the failure of scrub-birds to survive at Nuyts and Quarram. It's also possible that the availability of invertebrate prey may be lower in these areas than at Mt Gardner.

Information about the behaviour of scrub-birds immediately after release in a new area may be important in understanding why some translocations are more successful than others. Radio-tracking of two of the males released at Mt Taylor in 1990 showed that, although both displayed an initial attachment to their release site, they differed significantly in behaviour. One bird, tracked for two days after release, stayed close to the release site moving no more than 200 m but was not heard to sing. The second sang frequently from 10 minutes after his release, interacted noisily with the resident territorial males and showed daily movements of up to 800 m from his roost area. By the fifth day he had settled in an area 400 m from the point of release. This pilot study showed that radio-telemetry techniques can provide previously unobtainable information about the post-release behaviour of Noisy Scrub-birds. As such it is an extremely valuable tool for increasing our understanding of the translocation process and may allow improvements to be made in the strategies currently used. Radio-tracking studies on both males and females released at the Mt Taylor and Mermaid sites have continued (A. Danks, J. Rolfe & A.H. Burbidge unpublished).

2.5.3 Resources for translocation

Since 1985, translocation and the monitoring of release areas has been the most intensive activity in the Noisy Scrub-bird management program. Release site selection, organising and preparing for translocation projects, capture and release of birds, and monitoring of an expanding number of release areas and of the parent populations require about eight months full-time work each year. Although valuable assistance has been provided from other CALM staff and volunteers, this work has largely been carried out by one person, who also has other duties associated with the management of Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve.

Management of the Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve as well as an increasing population of scrub-birds and an expanding management program is now beyond the capacity of one person and there is a requirement for an additional staff member to assist with the program. Noisy Scrub-birds are difficult and time-consuming to capture. Obtaining sufficient numbers for translocation each year requires considerable preparation and the operation of a small team of experienced people for several months. The translocation of the relatively large numbers since 1983 would not have been possible without the assistance of over 30 voluntary workers who gave their time and enthusiasm to this task.

2.6 Population monitoring

To determine the success or otherwise of each translocation requires regular monitoring of the release sites. A count of singing males immediately after release, and again at the beginning of the next breeding season, will show whether males are establishing territories in the area. Once breeding is occurring, indicated by an increase in the number of singing males above the number released, an annual census can provide information on the growth of the new population.

Keeping track of the growth and expansion of the scrub-bird population in the Oyster Harbour - Cheyne Beach area requires regular counts of singing males in the five population concentrations, as well as searching of nearby areas for new singing males. Until 1987 only the Mt Gardner, Lakes and Mt Manypeaks areas were censused. Wider searching and annual counts of the additional subpopulations within this management zone have become routine since then.

The regular removal of breeding birds from Mt Gardner has the potential to affect the growth of the parent population. Replacement of translocated males from within the population is monitored by regular checking of territories from which birds have been removed. These data and the annual census of singing males have shown that removals for translocation at current rates have so far had no effect on the parent population (Danks and Smith in prep.).

2.7 Review of 1986 management program

Two strategies were proposed in the 1986 Management Program (Burbidge et al. 1986): habitat management at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve and translocation to establish new populations. The aim of the translocation program was 'to establish additional populations of the Noisy Scrub-bird, so that there are at least four reproducing populations at any one time' (p. 21). The program anticipated that some populations would be wiped out or seriously depleted by fire from time to time and that these would need re-establishment after the habitat had regenerated. It suggested that it would be 'necessary to establish perhaps six to eight populations in order to ensure that there are at least four viable populations at any one time' (p. 22).

In 1991, a shortage of funds and the failure of translocations west of Albany led CALM to postpone translocation for that year and conduct a review of the 1986 management program. As part of the review CALM arranged for Don Merton of the New Zealand Department of Conservation to visit Two Peoples Bay and the translocation sites and review CALM's procedures in the light of his considerable experience in the conservation of threatened birds world-wide. In May 1991, at the conclusion of the visit, a workshop was held and the recommendations developed at and after the workshop were considered by CALM's Corporate Executive later in the year. The review resulted in additional funds being allocated to the South Coast Region specifically for scrub-bird management, the setting up of a Recovery Team, the preparation of this Recovery Plan, the re-commencement of the Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve Management Plan and a decision to seek external funds to pay for the implementation of some parts of the Recovery Plan.

2.8 Biodiversity benefits of conserving the Noisy Scrub-bird

Protection and management of Noisy Scrub-bird habitat and adjacent areas within Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve conserves a wide variety of ecological communities and taxa, typical of the wetter parts of the south coast of Western Australia. Information on the reserve's biota has been summarised in Hopkins and Smith (in prep.).

Aside from the Noisy Scrub-bird many other taxa are of special interest. These include the Western Ringtail Possum Pseudocheirus occidentalis, Southern Brown Bandicoot Isoodon obesulus, Western Bristlebird Dasyornis longirostris, Western Whipbird Psophodes nigrogularis, Australasian Bittern Botaurus poiciloptilus, Red-eared Firetail Stagonopleura oculatum, Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus, Carnaby's Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus funereus latirostris and the Carpet Python Morelia spilota, all of which are declared rare or in need of special protection under Section 14(2)(ba) of the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act. The Action Plan for Australian Birds (Garnett 1992b) lists the Western Bristlebird and the western heath subspecies of the Western Whipbird as Endangered and Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo as Vulnerable. The reserve also contains Banksia verticillata, Adenanthos cunninghamii, Stylidium plantagineum, and the moss Pleurophascum occidentale (which is only known from the Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve) all of which have been declared under Section 23F(2) of the Act. The population of the Quokka Setonix brachyurus is one of the few mainland populations of this species.

In late 1994 Gilbert's Potoroo Potorous tridactylus gilbertii, which had been presumed to be extinct, was rediscovered in the Mt Gardner area of the reserve (Sinclair et al. in press). This animal, collected only from the King George Sound area last century, had not been recorded for over 100 years. It presumably survived at Mt Gardner for similar reasons to the scrub-bird (see section 1.6). Fox control and management of Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve for the Noisy Scrub-bird has probably contributed to its survival in recent years.

Management for the Noisy Scrub-bird has also benefited at least two of the other threatened species present. The population of the Western Bristlebird within the reserve appears to have increased since the early 1970s. Between 1976 and 1983 Smith (1985d) noted an increase from 86 pairs to about 100 pairs and attributed this increase to the exclusion of fire. In 1991 mapping of Bristlebird calling locations indicated 245 occupied territories (Danks, unpublished data). Similarly, an increase from 87 pairs to about 100 pairs was noted for the Western Whipbird (Smith 1985d). An incomplete count in Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve in 1991 indicated at least 110 pairs (A. Danks, unpublished).

The long post-fire age of many areas on Mt Gardner, which is a direct result of habitat management for the Scrub-bird, also may have contributed to the unusual richness and species diversity of fungi. Recent collecting at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve has shown the presence of over 400 species of higher fungi, some of them new to science (K. Syme1 personal communication).

Many of the above threatened taxa are also found in smaller numbers in other localities within the Oyster Harbour - Cheyne Beach area. Several rare plant species including Corybas limpidus, Adenanthos cunninghamii, Banksia verticillata and Stylidium plantagineum are found in the Gull Rock National Park where Noisy Scrub-birds and Western Whipbirds are also present. Goodga River and Boulder Hill Reserves are important for their populations of the critically endangered Andersonia sp (Two Peoples Bay). Waychinicup National Park (Mt Manypeaks area) contains the declared rare plants Banksia verticillata, B. brownii, the fern Asplenium obtusatum and populations of the Western Bristlebird and the Western Whipbird. Numbers of these two bird species have increased since a survey in 1985 (McNee 1986, A. Danks, unpublished). The area also has historic records for the endangered Ground Parrot (Watkins 1985). Sightings and calls have recently shown the Ground Parrot to be present in several areas of the eastern part of this area (Danks unpublished data). Garnett (1992a) considers the Two Peoples Bay - Mt Manypeaks area to be the most important area in mainland Australia for endangered birds. Habitat management designed primarily to conserve the Noisy Scrub-bird population concentrations in this area will inevitably benefit other threatened species, as has occurred at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve.

Protection of the lakes and streams of the Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve has helped maintain an extremely rich and distinctive aquatic invertebrate fauna. Recent surveys have found 247 taxa. At least two undescribed species of rotifer were collected with two other species being recorded in Australia for the first time. At least five undescribed species of cladoceran were collected and a further five were recorded in Western Australia for the first time. Among the larval chironomids, four taxa had not previously been collected, although the adults may have been described. It seems likely that maintenance of water quality and habitat structure as a result of reservation are the primary reasons for this diverse fauna persisting while changes are occurring in community composition of most other Western Australian wetlands (Storey et al. 1993; Coy et al. b in prep.).

2.9 Noisy Scrub-bird Recovery Team

The Noisy Scrub-bird Recovery Team first met in February 1992 and then consisted of Dr Andrew Burbidge (Chair) and Dr Allan Burbidge (CALM Science and Information Division), Kelly Gillen and Alan Danks (CALM Albany District), Gordon Wyre (CALM Wildlife Branch) and Dr Graeme Smith (CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Ecology). It decided to co-opt additional members representative of the volunteers who have worked on the translocation program, the Shire of Albany and the Australian Nature Conservation Agency's Endangered Species Program. Peter Cale, representing the volunteers, Bruce Male (ANCA) and Richard Rathbone (Shire of Albany) joined the team in April 1992. Alan Danks became Chairman in 1994.