Restoring landscape resilience: Safeguarding mallee birds and their habitats from compounding threats

Project start date: 01/07/2024
Project end date: 31/12/2025
NESP funding: $289,802 (GST-excl.)

Mallee woodlands and shrublands are home to many bird species that live exclusively in mallee vegetation – such as the endangered mallee emu-wren, the vulnerable malleefowl and the black-eared miner. Their survival is dependent on the conservation of mallee ecosystems, but threats from climate change, land-use change and changing fire regimes are putting them at risk.

The vulnerable red-lored whistler is a mallee species. Photo JJ Harrison CC BY-SA 3.0.
The vulnerable red-lored whistler (Pachycephala rufogularis) is a mallee specialist. Photo JJ Harrison CC BY-SA 3.0.

Ensuring the ongoing conservation of mallee birds, means understanding which factors contribute to abundance, availability and health of mallee habitat.

In this project, we’re collecting information from land management experts and data from previous conservation programs in north-western Victoria, south-eastern South Australia and south-western New South Wales, to understand the dynamics of Mallee Bird Community habitat.

We are using that information to establish a suite of management decision-tools to help land managers predict outcomes of different conservation actions and understand what the knowledge gaps are for each conservation strategy.

These tools will help to improve mallee ecosystem resilience and reverse the decline of many threatened mallee bird species.

Key research areas

To help conserve mallee bird species from increasing threats, this project is:

  • synthesising existing knowledge about mallee bird species and their habitat dynamics
  • developing of regional state-and-transition models for mallee ecosystems
  • adapting regional models for local use
  • developing modelling tools to assist conservation decision-making.