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The abundance and distribution of two species of fairy-wren in suburban and natural habitats

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Bird communities in suburban habitats are dominated by generalist species and tend to have fewer specialist species sensitive to disturbance. Superb (Malurus cyaneus) and Variegated (M. lamberti) Fairy-wrens are morphologically and ecologically similar but differ in the degree to which they occupy suburban habitats. The species often occur in sympatry in natural habitats but in suburban habitats Superb Fairy-wrens are much more common than Variegated Fairy-wrens. We compared the characteristics of the habitat of both species in natural and suburban areas to investigate whether habitat requirements differed between the species, and which may explain observed patterns of abundance. Patch-level vegetative and disturbance-related habitat characteristics of territories were compared to those of non-territories in natural and suburban habitats. In natural habitats, Superb Fairy-wrens occupied more disturbed patches than Variegated Fairy-wrens. Vegetated drainages and patches of weedy remnant vegetation were important habitats for suburban Superb Fairy-wrens, which also tolerated the presence of humans whereas Variegated Fairy-wrens were particularly sensitive to human presence. A better understanding of the factors affecting the abundance of the more sensitive native species in suburban areas, such as Variegated Fairy-wrens, may inform conservation actions to enhance suburban biodiversity. © Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union 2011.

UOW Authors


  •   Crates, R A. (external author)
  •   French, Kris O.
  •   McLean, Chris M.

Publication Date


  • 2011

Citation


  • Crates, R. A., French, K. O. & McLean, C. M. (2011). The abundance and distribution of two species of fairy-wren in suburban and natural habitats. Emu, 111 (4), 341-349.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84857774748

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/scipapers/3602

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 8

Start Page


  • 341

End Page


  • 349

Volume


  • 111

Issue


  • 4

Abstract


  • Bird communities in suburban habitats are dominated by generalist species and tend to have fewer specialist species sensitive to disturbance. Superb (Malurus cyaneus) and Variegated (M. lamberti) Fairy-wrens are morphologically and ecologically similar but differ in the degree to which they occupy suburban habitats. The species often occur in sympatry in natural habitats but in suburban habitats Superb Fairy-wrens are much more common than Variegated Fairy-wrens. We compared the characteristics of the habitat of both species in natural and suburban areas to investigate whether habitat requirements differed between the species, and which may explain observed patterns of abundance. Patch-level vegetative and disturbance-related habitat characteristics of territories were compared to those of non-territories in natural and suburban habitats. In natural habitats, Superb Fairy-wrens occupied more disturbed patches than Variegated Fairy-wrens. Vegetated drainages and patches of weedy remnant vegetation were important habitats for suburban Superb Fairy-wrens, which also tolerated the presence of humans whereas Variegated Fairy-wrens were particularly sensitive to human presence. A better understanding of the factors affecting the abundance of the more sensitive native species in suburban areas, such as Variegated Fairy-wrens, may inform conservation actions to enhance suburban biodiversity. © Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union 2011.

UOW Authors


  •   Crates, R A. (external author)
  •   French, Kris O.
  •   McLean, Chris M.

Publication Date


  • 2011

Citation


  • Crates, R. A., French, K. O. & McLean, C. M. (2011). The abundance and distribution of two species of fairy-wren in suburban and natural habitats. Emu, 111 (4), 341-349.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84857774748

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/scipapers/3602

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 8

Start Page


  • 341

End Page


  • 349

Volume


  • 111

Issue


  • 4