The habitat requirements and potential threats of the endangered Alligator Rivers Yellow Chat Epthianura crocea tunneyi

Project: HDR ProjectPhD

Description

The Alligator Rivers Yellow Chat (Epthianura crocea tunneyi) is a poorly researched, endangered passerine of coastal floodplains from Darwin to Gunbalanya, Northern Territory, Australia. Whilst recent surveys suggest the subspecies is in decline, potential evidence-based management programs will be hampered by a lack of ecological data as there has yet to be a detailed study of the chat’s ecology. Using generalised linear modelling, this study investigated the influence of 51 habitat variables collected at 241 sites on Alligator Rivers Yellow Chat site occupancy. Chat occupancy was found to be closely correlated with the presence of the annual shrub Sesbania burbidgeae, the presence of hydrogeographic features such as channels and depressions and to sites that are unburnt yet have a high fire frequency. Notably, no Chats were found where the common weed Mimosa pigra was present and Feral Pigs (Sus scrofa) were detected at 87% of chat occupied sites compared to 66% of unoccupied sites. These results indicate that Yellow Chat populations may respond to tailored fire management and the control of weeds on the surveyed floodplains. This study is the first to provide baseline ecological data on the Alligator Rivers Yellow Chat and its ecology.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date25/07/16 → …