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Nest survival in Regent Honeyeaters

Taronga has planted thousands of habitat trees and released hundreds of Regent Honeyeaters over the last decade. Now we are working with the Zoological Society of London to see how our birds are contributing genetically to the wild population.

In April 2015, the fourth and largest release of captive bred Regent Honeyeaters was carried out in Chiltern Mt - Pilot National Park as part of the National Recovery Plan for this critically endangered species. In the wild, Regent Honeyeaters show high variability in breeding effort from year to year and although captive bred Regent Honeyeaters have been recorded breeding and raising young after release in Chiltern and surrounding areas, they also appear to experience high rates of nest failure. However, this has never been empirically studied and the aim of this project is to use video recording equipment and the skills of an experienced arborist to monitor the nests of Regent Honeyeaters (and compare nest survival estimates with other woodland bird species with similar nesting habits). It will also be the first time the breeding behaviour of Regent Honeyeaters has been filmed in the wild, as well as elucidating the threatening processes that limit their ability to successfully breed once released. The Zoological Society of London is a world-renowned research centre working at the cutting edge of conservation biology, and specialising in scientific issues relevant to preserving animal species and their habitats.

What can you do?

Save and Create Animal Habitats: Create microhabitats in your own backyard – plant locally native plants as a refuge for local animals and help protect Australian insects and birds by avoiding pesticides and keeping your cat inside.