What is it about?

Bell Miner colonies are thought to relocate in areas where the understorey has been removed. We compared the plant abundance between two sites containing Bell Miners that were treated for Lantana several years beforehand. The site where Bell Miners moved contained a midstorey and minimal understorey, whereas, the understorey within the site where Bell Miners remained was replaced with native species. This preliminary work suggests that Bell Miners will stay in an area regardless of the plant species in the understorey rather than a midstorey only.

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Why is it important?

This work is important because it compares the only known site where Bell Miners have been recorded to move after Lantana treatment to a site nearby where the same treatment occurred but the result was different. Both sites are located near Kyogle NSW and are the first to show that native species replace Lantana but it doesn't always result in Bell Miner colony relocation.


This study was completed to see why there was a difference in one site where Bell Miners moved and another nearby where they didn't, although they were both treated with glyphosate to remove Lantana. Both sites had native species instead of weeds after seven years and I was curious to know whether there was any difference in vegetation structure or species. It was interesting to note that the midstorey was prominent in the area where Bell Miners relocated compared to the replacement of understorey with native species in the area where Bell Miners remained. Although preliminary, this work could be used to determine whether Bell Miners stay in areas due to forest structure or food resources.

Dr Kathryn T. A. Lambert
University of New England

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Habitat selection by a despotic passerine, the Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys): When restoring habitat through Lantana (Lantana camara) removal is not enough, Ecological Management & Restoration, January 2016, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/emr.12196.
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