Assessing causes of nest failure and measuring reproductive output in a suite of passerines endemic to Norfolk Island

  • Nance, Alexandra Hilary (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Clarke, Rohan (Chief Investigator (CI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

Norfolk Island’s endemic perching birds are in peril, with ongoing declines and recent extinctions demonstrating that pervasive threats continue to impact this group. In 2008 the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) highlighted the need to assess Pacific Island species for their Red List. Due to this and other calls for assessment, the Norfolk Robin is now listed as Endangered, and the Slender-billed White-eye and Norfolk Gerygone are listed as Near Threatened. All require further targeted research to address conservation threats. The Norfolk Whistler and Norfolk Fantail are yet to be assessed. The few ecological reports directed at one or more of our five focal species were prepared for Australian National Parks some 20-30 years ago. While these studies provide valuable insight they are now outdated having been undertaken decades ago, and before the existence of fully automated camera traps. We require contemporary data to understand the current threats for these species during their breeding season. Using a small number of camera traps, our team undertook a rapid assessment of nesting Norfolk Robins in 2017 and found that without an increase in rat baiting efforts, the Robin was likely to become extinct within 5-6 years. As a direct result of this work, managers implemented immediate changes to their rodent suppression strategy. Our work highlights the urgent need to expand this study to the four other perching bird species of conservation concern.
Effective start/end date1/07/191/07/21