The Regent Honeyeater is a critically endangered bird. Nest predation by native birds and mammals (e.g., Sugar Glider, Squirrel Glider and Common Brushtail Possum) is a key threat and cause of nest failure. This project will assess the potential of acoustic deterrents to exclude small mammals from nest sites.
This project will aim to:
- characterise the vocalisations (audible and ultrasonic) produced by two key nest predators (sugar and squirrel gliders).
- conduct (or coordinate if necessary) playback experiments in a zoo-based setting to determine the effectiveness of glider vocalisations and commercially available ultrasonic devices as glider deterrents.
- conduct playback experiments to non-breeding Regent Honeyeaters to the sound of the ultrasonic signals emitted by the commercially available ultrasonic devices and to natural glider vocalisations to see if these sounds evoke responses in birds (i.e., safety check).
This is zoo-based study where you will gain experience in developing techniques to protect nesting Regent Honeyeaters from predation.
Through this project you will learn how to:
- Record the acoustic behaviour of small mammals and conduct playback studies in the zoo setting
- Carry out statistical analysis
- Write a scientific paper
- Collaborate with conservation professionals in industry (external co-supervisors)
Covid-19 risk mitigation strategies have been considered in the development of this study.
Supervisors: Dr Neil Jordan, Joy Tripovich and Ben Pitcher