Comparative Ecology of Four Passerine Species in Jarrah Forests Used for Timber Production in Southwestern Western Australia

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I assessed which resources were critical for bird species that decline after selective logging. I compared foraging and nesting behaviors of Western Yellow Robins ( Eopsaltria griseogularis), Rufous Treecreepers (Climacteris rufa), Golden Whistlers (Pachycephala pectoralis), and White-naped Honeyeaters (Melithreptus lunatus) before and after logging in jarrah forests used for timber production in southwestern Australia. Species that declined after logging ( Golden Whistler, White-naped Honeyeater) foraged in the canopy and displayed little flexibility in foraging behavior. Species that did not decline ( Western Yellow Robin, Rufous Treecreeper) foraged lower, spent a variable proportion of time on the ground and displayed greater flexibility in foraging behavior. Rufous Treecreepers, obligate tree-hollow nesters, and Western Yellow Robins did not alter nesting sites after logging, but Golden Whistlers nested infrequently in logged areas. There were no consistent differences in the nesting ecologies of the two groups, and it is unclear why Golden Whistlers nested infrequently in logged forest. Western Yellow Robins and Rufous Treecreepers used logged forest as frequently after logging as before and did not appear to require unlogged buffers to persist in forests used for timber production. In contrast, Golden Whistlers used logged forests less frequently after logging and moved their territories to include unlogged buffers. Retention of critical resources for Golden Whistlers and White-naped Honeyeaters in logged forest is unlikely to be feasible because of the effects on timber yield, emphasizing the importance of unlogged buffers in forest management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1609-1619
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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