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Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Abbott's Booby (Papasula abbotti) Recovery Plan

A Dunn and FAR Hill
Environment Australia, September 1997

Note:This publication has been superseded by the National Recovery Plan for the Abbott's Booby Papasula abbotti


Habitat Requirements and Limiting Factors

Tall emergent rainforest trees which are reasonably sheltered from the prevailing south-east winds are required for nesting. Loss of nesting trees as a result of clearing for mining has resulted in a decline in the population. Furthermore, increased turbulence on the canopy of nest trees downwind of clearings has resulted in decreased breeding success and increased adult and fledgling mortality within 300 m of the edges of clearings.

Recovery Plan Objectives

Overall Objectives

1. To achieve downlisting of the species from Endangered to Vulnerable within 20 years, based on the IUCN (1994) criteria of population size and trends, extent of occurrence and probability of extinction.

2. To increase population viability by increasing the breeding success of birds affected by mine clearings.

3. To ensure that foraging areas are managed to maintain their value for Abbott's Booby.

Specific objectives  Criteria for success Actions
    1. Form a Recovery Team and implement the Recovery Plan.
1. To continue to monitor total breeding population size and the breeding success of  birds affected by  proximity to forest clearings. 1. Estimated population size in subsequent surveys is not significantly less than the 1991 estimate. 2. Develop monitoring  techniques to estimate the total population size and to compare breeding success, downwind, upwind and beyond rehabilitating minefields.
  2. Breeding success of  birds downwind of forest clearings not significantly different to that of birds nesting upwind of forest clearings. 3. Monitor overall breeding population size and distribution, and the impact of rehabilitation efforts on breeding success in areas affected by wind turbulence.
2. To ensure that all nesting habitat of this species is protected from clearing and degradation. 3. No further loss of  breeding habitat. 4. Ongoing negotiation with all landowners to ensure protection of all  known and new nesting habitat and of appropriate buffers around nesting habitat.
3. To produce a timetable for rehabilitating priority  minefields and commence rehabilitation using that timetable. 4. Amelioration of wind turbulence downwind of the priority minefields identified by Carew-Reid (1987). 5. Ameliorate wind  turbulence in all priority minefields.
4. To identify critical feeding habitats. 5. Critical feeding areas identified and effective measures taken, if necessary, to ensure the appropriate management of these areas for this species 6. Identify feeding habitat of breeding adults and any threatening or potentially threatening processes.

*'Significant' is used in the statistical sense.

Estimated Cost of Recovery:

Action 1 2 3 4 5 6 TOTAL  
1998 2.0 0.8 10.0 10.0     5.0         12.0 10.8
1999 2.0 0.8     88.2 9.0 2.5 77.2 2.0 30.0 36.0 197.4 47.8
2000 2.0 0.8         2.5 21.2 2.0     23.2  2.8
2001 2.0 0.8         2.5 21.2 2.0     23.2 2.8
2002 2.0 0.8         2.5 2.0       2.0 2.8
TOTAL 10.0 4.0 10.0 10.0 88.2 9.0 15.0 119.6 8.0 30.0 36.0 257.8 67.0

Biodiversity benefits

Protection of breeding habitat protects large areas of primary plateau rainforests which contains a high diversity of animals and plants. The rehabilitation program will benefit many other forest-dependent wildife, many of which are endemic taxa.