Landscape Ecology

, Volume 21, Issue 7, pp 1119–1133 | Cite as

Multi-scale site and landscape effects on the vulnerable superb parrot of south-eastern Australia during the breeding season

  • Adrian D. Manning
  • David B. Lindenmayer
  • Simon C. Barry
  • Henry A. Nix
Research Article


The threatened superb parrot of south-eastern Australia exemplifies many of the challenges associated with research on wide-raging organisms which live ‘off-reserve’. Challenges include that most land is privately owned and that landscape use by such organisms does not always conform to traditional schematic and categorical landscape/fragmentation models. A multi-scale approach for embedding the detection of site-level and landscape context effects into landscape sampling design and subsequent statistical analysis is presented. The superb parrot was found scattered at varying densities throughout the agricultural landscapes of the South-West Slopes, much of which was privately owned. It responded to site-level variables and the surrounding landscape context. Overall, the superb parrot favoured lower elevation sites which were dominated by scattered, open woodlands, where Blakely’s red gum was a significant component. Mean plant productivity within 2 km, levels of woody tree cover within 3 km and (with caveats) length of roads within 3 km had a major effect on site-level response, indicating conditions in the surrounding local landscape are important to the superb parrot. This multi-scale response requires a multi-scale conservation and restoration strategy. The importance of open tree cover and amounts of Blakely’s red gum are a matter for concern, due to a general lack of tree regeneration and the particular susceptibility of Blakely’s red gum to dieback. The scattered trees in the agricultural matrix were important to the superb parrot, suggesting that it views these landscapes as a continuum of usable habitat. Strategies for restoration of larger habitat remnants should also include regeneration of trees in scattered pattern in the wider landscape, and Blakely’s red gum should be part of any strategy along with other key species such as yellow and white box. The landscape sampling approach successfully addressed the challenges of whole-landscape research. This highlights the value of ‘off-reserve’ studies across whole landscapes.


Blakely’s red gum Continua – Umwelt Ecological restoration Private land Scattered paddock trees Superb parrot 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian D. Manning
    • 1
  • David B. Lindenmayer
    • 1
  • Simon C. Barry
    • 2
  • Henry A. Nix
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Resource and Environmental StudiesThe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Bureau of Rural SciencesKingstonAustralia

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