Major activities for achieving the recovery plan objectives

The recovery plan is drawn from past conservation efforts and from the threats that the Black-eared Miner faces. Past conservation efforts have included survey and monitoring of individual bird species by Birds Australia staff and volunteers and lately by La Trobe University. Other efforts have centered on finding the most suitable habitats for the bird, habitat protection, translocations, and studies into the biology and ecology of the bird.

Major activities for achieving the recovery plan objectives are outlined below:

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  • Effective control of fire outbreaks in the mallee habitat. This entails regular patrols by staff on foot and from the air, this enables early detection and putting of fires. These patrols will be more frequent during long periods of drought as fire outbreaks tend to be more common during such periods. To ensure that the plan is effective, adequate fire fighting equipment will be supplied in all surveillance points at habitat areas. The staff will be trained on fire fighting skills , with mock fire outbreaks carried out twice or thrice a year to check on the readiness of the fire-fighting staff (IUCN Red List, 2010, para. 6).
  • Studies on the possibility of a translocation process of birds to habitats with suitable conditions for breeding have been undertaken previously and have proved that such a move can bird populations. Birds will be moved from areas with unfavorable climatic conditions and those that have been encroached by the Yellow-throated Miners. Since suitable climatic conditions enhance breeding among the birds, translocation will increase their number, besides, interbreeding with the Yellow-throated Miners will be eliminated, ensuring high-quality (pure) offspring. A translocation exercise must take into consideration the impacts on the source population and other operational management issues, such as habitat suitability and contact with Yellow-throated Miners at the destination habitat.
  • M. melanotis requires a mallee vegetation that has not been burnt for at least 50 years, this requires that current mallee vegetation in various parts of the country must be maintained. In addition, we shall plant more mallee vegetation for our long-term strategy.
  • Another recovery plan involves the identification of man-made water points within M. melanotis habitats that may pose a threat to the birds. These water points will either be closed or rehabilitated. In case the water point is the major source of water for the neighboring human populations, the birds may be moved to other areas. Other actions may include banning of pastoral activities in areas with mallee vegetation.
  • To realize the goals of the recovery plan, we will include major landowners and residents around NSW and other major M. melanotis habitat areas. The landowners will promote our conservational efforts at community level due to their influence.
  • We will integrate all information relating to M. melanotis from all habitats around the country and enter it into a common database such that it will be easier to access information on the progress of conservation efforts being undertaken in these places. This information will include bird population, area of habitat, and all translocation activities.

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