Noisy Scrub-bird (Atrichornis clamosus) Recovery Plan

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

SUMMARY

Current species status: Threatened species (WA Wildlife Conservation Act), Vulnerable (ANZECC 1991), Endangered (Garnett 1992a & b), Endangered (Draft new IUCN categories). Garnett (1992b) ranks the Noisy Scrub-bird equal ninth in conservation priority of all Australian threatened bird taxa and the fourth most threatened full species. The total population in 1994 was probably around 1100.

Habitat requirements and limiting factors: Long-unburnt vegetation characterised as low forest (5-15m), scrub/thicket and heath. These formations occur in gullies, drainage lines and the slopes of hills and granite mountains, overgrown swamps and lake margins and in riparian vegetation along rivers and creeks. Occupied sites generally have a post-fire age of ten years or more and contain a dense stratum of shrubs and sedges which provide essential cover for these semi-flightless birds. The maximum post-fire age at which vegetation retains its suitability for scrub-birds has not been determined. On Mt Gardner, however, scrub-birds are still present and breeding in vegetation which has not been burnt for more than 50 years.

Recovery Plan objectives: In the Albany Management Zone to achieve and maintain a population of > 300 singing males and to commence the establishment of populations in a western management zone.

Recovery criteria:

  • 1. Within the Albany Management Zone the achievement and maintenance of the number of singing males at above 300.
  • 2. Establishment of at least two new populations within a new management zone west of Albany.
  • 3. Completion and implementation of a Management Plan for Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve.
  • 4. Implementation of management for other CALM-managed lands on which scrub-birds occur.
  • 5. Provision of assistance to owners and managers of other lands where scrub-birds occur.
  • 6. Protection of corridors between population concentrations.
  • 7. Completion of research into translocation site suitability.
  • 8. Maintenance of genetic variability in translocated populations.
  • 9. Dissemination of information on scrub-bird biology and conservation.

Actions needed:

  • 1. Prepare and implement a Management Plan for Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve.
  • 2. Management of other lands with scrub-bird populations.
  • 3. Translocations.
  • 4. Monitoring of Noisy Scrub-bird numbers.
  • 5. Education, publicity and sponsorship.

Estimated cost of recovery: 1992 prices in $000s/year; total cost (TC) and ESP (O) = Endangered Species Program (= TC - CALM contribution)

Actions

(1)

 

(2)

 

(3)

 

(4)

 

(5)

 

Total

 

TC

ESP

TC

ESP

TC

ESP

TC

ESP

TC

ESP

TC

ESP

1993

118.5

2.0

69.5

0.0

92.4

41.3

11.3

3.9

3.0

0.0

294.7

47.2

1994

143.5

2.0

69.5

0.0

82.1

31.0

17.3

6.0

3.0

0.0

315.4

39.0

1995

90.0

4.5

69.5

0.0

82.5

31.2

16.7

5.2

3.0

0.0

261.7

40.9

1996

78.5

2.0

69.5

0.0

95.5

41.2

21.4

7.4

3.0

0.0

267.9

50.6

1997

81.0

4.5

69.5

0.0

85.5

31.2

22.6

6.6

3.0

0.0

261.6

42.3

1998

78.9

2.4

69.5

0.0

82.6

28.3

23.1

7.4

3.0

0.0

257.1

38.1

1999

81.4

4.9

69.5

0.0

48.9

12.8

22.6

6.6

3.0

0.0

225.4

24.3

2000

78.9

2.4

69.5

0.0

48.9

12.8

21.4

7.4

3.0

0.0

221.7

22.6

2001

78.9

2.4

69.5

0.0

46.1

10.0

22.6

6.6

3.0

0.0

220.1

19.0

2002

78.9

2.4

69.5

0.0

46.1

10.0

17.3

6.0

3.0

0.0

214.8

18.4

Total

908.5

29.5

695.0

0.0

710.6

249.8

196.3

63.1

30.0

0.0

2540.4

342.4

Biodiversity benefits: Habitat protection and management of the Noisy Scrub-bird has helped conserve a wide variety of other organisms, including some that are threatened. Examples include: the recently rediscovered Gilbert's Potoroo Potorous tridactylus gilbertii, Western Ringtail Possum Pseudocheirus occidentalis, Western Bristlebird Dasyornis longirostris, Western Whipbird Psophodes nigrogularis, the vascular plants Corybas limpidus, Banksia verticillata, Adenanthos cunninghamii, Stylidium plantagineum, and the moss Pleurophascum occidentale. Protection of lakes and streams of the Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve has helped maintain an extremely rich and distinctive aquatic invertebrate fauna.