Golden Whistler Australia Birds

The Norfolk Island subspecies of Golden Whistler prefers the shrubby understorey of rainforest, palm forest and indigenous pine forest (Smithers and Disney, 1969), but also uses plantations of exotic species. It has been recorded in, or at the edges of, pockets of suitable habitat throughout the island, but does not occur near gardens (Schodde et al., 1983). There are about 70 other subspecies in other parts of Australia and on islands in the south-west Pacific Ocean. P. p. contempta (Lord Howe I.) is Vulnerable. All other Australian subspecies (Schodde and Mason, 1999) are Least Concern, including P. p. queenslandica (wet tropics), P. p. pectoralis (central Queensland to northern New South Wales), P. p. youngi (south-eastern mainland Australia), P. p. glaucura (Tasmania) and P. p. fuliginosa (mallee
regions). Largely confined to the Norfolk Island National Park and nearby forested areas. A steady decline recorded through 1960s and 1970s, but subspecies still present over nearly half the island in 1978 (Schodde et al., 1983). By 1990, virtually confined to Norfolk Island National Park (Bell, 1990) and the population reduced to 535 pairs (Robinson, 1988). Recent estimates suggest the population has now stabilised (Robinson, 1997). Much suitable habitat has beencleared or fragmented, and the subspecies appears to be confined to the largest tract of remaining forest. The reason for the recent 
population decline, and the principal continuing threat is probably predation by Black Rats Rattus rattus (introduced in the mid 1940s; Robinson, 1988). Cats may also take some birds (Bell, 1990). The Golden Whistler lives in forests throughout Lord Howe I., and nests high in the trees away from most predators. Golden Whistlers have survived the introduction of cats, rats, pigs and goats to Lord Howe I. Therestricted area of occupancy, however, makes the subspecies susceptible to catastrophe, such as the introduction of another predator. Source: Animal-Discovery

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