Most pairs breed within 20 km of melaleuca inlet

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Most pairs breed within 20 km of Melaleuca Inlet, Bathurst Harbour and Port Davey, in what is considered one breeding population. Most adults depart the breeding range in February. The first birds arrive at King Island in mid-March and have usually left by June. Adults first reach Victoria in late March and disperse east as far as coastal South Gippsland, and as far west as Lake Alexandrina in South Australia. The majority of birds over-winter in coastal habitats in southern central Victoria, western Victoria and southeast South Australia. In September, the first adults leave the Australian mainland for Tasmania, with the last birds departed by mid-November. On their migratory passage, the species occurs in dunes, heathland, coastal grasslands, salt marshes and pasture. In Victoria and South Australia, birds use salt marshes as well as beaches, dune frontages and adjacent dune systems, and sheltered areas along rocky foreshores. Neophema chrysogaster use King Island as a stepping-stone in their journey across Bass Strait during both their northern migration in autumn, and on their return to breeding grounds in spring (Figure 12). On King Island Neophema chrysogaster occurs in estuarine salt marsh flanked by dense swamp paperbark scrub, in pasture, and in other grassy areas, including golf courses and sometimes on beaches (Bryant & Jackson 1999). Birds roost in dense clumps of swamp paperbark ( Melaleuca ericifolia ) and coastal wattle ( Acacia longifolia subsp. sophorae ) at the edges of estuaries. There is little information on how long the birds remain on the island — anecdotal information suggests they spend up to four weeks during their northern migration, and as little as twenty- four hours during their southern migration (M. Holdsworth pers. comm.) King Island Biodiversity Management Plan 168
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Population The total population size of Neophema chrysogaster is estimated to be less than 50 individuals (Orange-bellied Parrot Action Plan 2010). King Island represents an important stopover point for the species, and most of the population is believed to pass through King Island on passage across Bass Strait (Table 12). Habitat critical to the survival of the species Critical breeding habitat occurs in the narrow coastal strip of eucalypt forest, rainforest and moorland mosaic in southwest Tasmania between Birchs Inlet and Louisa Bay. Habitat critical to the survival of the species during migration includes dunes, heathland, coastal grasslands, salt marshes and some degraded pastures. Habitat critical for the survival of Neophema chrysogaster on King Island includes both foraging and roosting habitat. Thirty-five patches of Neophema chrysogaster foraging habitat covering approximately 245 hectares have been identified on King Island, two-thirds of which is considered ephemeral (Barrow 2008).
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  • Fall '14
  • The Hours, ........., Threatened species, Bass Strait, Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, King Island

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