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PhD title
Manning, A. D., A multi-scale study of the Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii); implications for landscape-scale ecological restoration, unpublished thesis.

PhD outline

I used a multi-scale approach to undertake research the Superb Parrot; a vulnerable, internationally-listed bird, endemic to south-east Australia. Three scales were examined in this study:

1. Macroscale
Investigations across the whole distribution of the species. This had two components:

a) The bioclimatic domain of the Superb Parrot was investigated (to provide a context for other investigations in this study).

Manning, A. D., Lindenmayer, D. B., Barry, S. C., Nix, H. A., 2005, A bioclimatic analysis for the highly mobile superb parrot of south-eastern, mainland Australia, The Emu, 105, 193-201.

b) Using Birds Australia atlas data the relationship between abundance of the Superb Parrot and a number of key environmental variables was explored.

Manning, A. D., Lindenmayer, D. B., Barry, S. C. and Nix, H. A. 2007, Large-scale spatial and temporal dynamics of the vulnerable and highly mobile superb parrot. Journal of Biogeography, 34: 289–304.

2. Mesoscale

Local-landscape and intra-regional relationships were investigated across a field study area of approx. 23260 km2. Eighty one, 1km2 sites were systematically selected and surveyed for Superb Parrots.

Manning, A. D., Lindenmayer, D. B., Barry, S. C., Nix, H. A., 2006, Multi-scale site and landscape effects on the vulnerable superb parrot of south-eastern Australia during the breeding season, Landscape Ecology, 21:7,  1119-1133.

3. Microscale

Behaviour patterns and nest trees were investigated at this scale.

a) The microscale behaviour of the Superb Parrot was examined in relation to immediate surrounds to investigate the effect of landscape conditions.

Manning, A. D., Lindenmayer, D. B., Barry, S. C., Nix, H. A. The behaviour of the Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii) in the agricultural landscapes of the South-West Slopes during the breeding season. (in prep)

b) Nest trees were located and compared with randomly-chosen non-nest trees to determine the characteristics of favoured trees.

Manning, A. D., Lindenmayer, D. B., Barry, S. C., 2004, The conservation implications of bird reproduction in the agricultural "matrix": a case study of the vulnerable superb parrot of southeastern Australia, Biological Conservation 120, 363-374.

Summary - results and conclusions
At the macroscale the distribution and abundance of the Superb Parrot varied in both time and space in relation to environmental variables. At the mesoscale, the Superb Parrot was influenced by factors at the site level and in the surrounding landscape. At the microscale, behaviour was influenced by tree cover and tree species composition in the surroundings. Nest trees of the Superb Parrot were found to be larger, many were dead or affected by dieback, with little tree regeneration in their surrounds.

Overall, results show that the Superb Parrot persists in the privately-owned farmland. However, these landscapes were highly modified and, without landscape-scale efforts to re-start tree regeneration, the future of the Superb Parrot is uncertain.

All publications resulting from this research can be found here



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