Australia has a large suite of mangrove dependent bird species. Apart from detailed work in the Northern Territory, there has been little additional survey of bird pattern in this vegetation type. The abundance and habitat preference of birds were surveyed in six vegetation types on Trinity Inlet, Cairns. Birds were counted on four occasions from 1998-1999, and forty-seven bird species, representing nine foraging guilds, were recorded. Vegetation type was a strong discriminator of bird composition. I recorded a number of mangrove-obligate species (e.g. Collared Kingfisher, Mangrove Robin, Mangrove Gerygone) more abundantly, or restricted to mangrove vegetation, and a further suite of species that were mangrove-facultative (e.g. Shining Flycatcher, Rufous Fantail, Helmeted Friarbird, Spangled Drongo, Brown Honeyeater, Dusky Honeyeater). Many of the species recorded are more typically associated with rainforest, open woodlands and forests (e.g. Spectacled Monarch, Rose-crowned Fruit-dove, Variegated Fairy-wren, White-throated Honeyeater). There was some pattern in the guilds with granivores and frugivores being relatively more abundant in dune vegetation and foliage insectivore and nectarivore guilds being more so in mangroves. The pattern of bird assemblage reported is similar to those reported in the Northern Territory, and is considered to be determined by mangrove specialisation, habitat structure, available resources and neighbouring habitats.
Bird assemblage in a dune-mangrove mosaic, Cairns, Queensland
A. Kutt; Bird assemblage in a dune-mangrove mosaic, Cairns, Queensland. Australian Zoologist 1 December 2007; 34 (2): 158–164. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2007.013
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