Sep 25, 2009

Helmeted Honeyeater (Lichenostomus melanops cassidix)

There are around 170 species of the honey eater variety recorded in Australia. As the name suggests, most from this variety are nectar feeding birds. However, nectar only makes up a small proportion of the Helmeted Honeyeater's diet.

The Helmeted Honeyeater is endemic to Victoria, and is also the only bird species to be endemic to the state. For this reason, the Helmeted Honeyeater became Victoria's bird emblem in 1971.

The Helmeted Honeyeater is listed as Threatened in Schedule 2 of Victoria's Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and is listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The Helmeted Honeyeater is approximately 20 cms in length (tail to tip). They range in colour from black to olive-brown to yellow. They have a yellow crest which sets them apart from other honeyeaters.

Currently (2006) the Helmeted Honeyeater is listed as critically endangered. There were only 50 of this species left in 1990. The numbers are steadily increasing, but the species is still critically endangered.

The honeyeater is currently found in a captive release colony in the Bunyip State Park Reintroduction Site. They also inhabit a very small range between Ferntree Gully and Yellingbo in the wild.

The diet of the Helmeted Honeyeater consists of mainly manna. Manna is a sap-like substance produced by trees through the bark and at points of injury. They also feed on nectar from eucalypt flowers, berries from the prickly currant bush, insects, spiders and lerps.

Breeding occurs from August to February. The gestation period is two weeks where 2 to 3 young are born.

No comments:

Post a Comment

 

blogger templates | Make Money Online