The regent honeyeater used to be one of the most abundant birds in south-eastern Australia but there are now fewer than 400 in the wild.
Lead researcher Dr Laura Rayner said it was exciting to find more than 20 previously unrecorded birds in the chronically under-surveyed New England Tablelands bioregion in New South Wales.
“After hundreds of surveys turning up zeros we were so excited to find the birds. It was like finding a needle in a haystack,” said Dr Rayner, from the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society.
“This discovery represents one sixth of the global breeding effort for the species.”
The discovery was part of a national monitoring program designed and implemented by researchers at the Fenner School. The first surveys started in August.
Dr Rayner said the national monitoring program is the first real attempt at using science to direct range-wide search efforts for this semi-nomadic species. Researchers use recorded bird …