Video monitoring reveals novel threat to critically endangered captive-bred and released regent honeyeaters

Gemma Taylor, John G. Ewen, Rohan H. Clarke, Tim M. Blackburn, Glen Johnson, Dean Ingwersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nest predation is a primary cause of nest failure in open-cup nesting woodland birds and low reproductive success is a common reason why reintroduced species fail to establish in the wild. We used video monitoring to record the breeding outcomes and identify the causes of nest failure in a reintroduced population of the Critically Endangered Regent Honeyeater. We intensively monitored 28 nesting attempts of 13 pairs during the 2015 breeding season, and found that the probability of individual nest success was 0.21 (from egg laying to fledging). We report for the first time Sugar and Squirrel Gliders depredating Regent Honeyeater nests. In addition to losses attributed to predation, a high proportion of chicks died in the nest from unknown causes. Our results show that rates of nest initiation and success are low in reintroduced Regent Honeyeaters, and future reintroductions should attempt to mitigate the threat of nest predation. Other sources of nest failure and barriers to nest initiation and egg laying are priority areas for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-310
Number of pages7
JournalEmu
Volume118
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2018

Keywords

  • Anthochaera phrygia
  • Breeding success
  • Nest survival
  • Predation
  • Threatened species

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