Date: September 3, 2019
Source: University of Queensland
New research has found that habitat loss is a major concern for hundreds of Australian bird species, and south-eastern Australia has been the worst affected.
The Threatened Species Recovery Hub study, featuring University of Queensland scientists, found that half of all native bird species have each lost almost two-thirds of their natural habitat across Victoria, parts of South Australia and New South Wales.
Lead researcher, Dr Jeremy Simmonds, said the team looked at both threatened and non-threatened birds, including common species.
"While more attention is usually paid to threatened species, common species, like many of our familiar fairy-wrens, pigeons and honeyeaters, are crucially important," Dr Simmonds said.
"Common species play a vital role in controlling insect pests and pollination and their decline through loss of habitat has implications for the health of ecosystems.
"Along with feral and invasive species, habitat destruction is among the greatest threats facing biodiversity in Australia, so it is important to understand how big the problem of habitat removal is: our research developed a method to do this, called the Loss Index.