Food Chain

June 30, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

The impact of habitat decline on wildlife such as the Rainbow Bee-eater

Growing urbanisation of areas once bushland forces wildlife to move out of their habitat or decline in their numbers. Fewer green space means fewer plants and fewer plants means animals such as insects do not have their food source to survive. Urbanisation has another impact on plants and wildlife. The use of herbicides and pesticides reduces the once rich biodiversity even more. This causes a chain reaction and wildlife once abundant in bushland dwindle or disappear.

Rainbow Bee-eater (juv)- Merops ornatus-1Rainbow Bee-eater (juv)- Merops ornatus

What does that mean for the predators of insects?

One such study was conducted on the Rainbow Bee-eater.

Research featured in the 'State of Australia's Birds 2015' headline and regional reports show a marked decline for the Rainbow Bee-eater (and some other aerial insectivores) in the East Coast region, where reporting rates for this species have dropped by over 50% since 2001. (Source: BirdLife Australia)

One way to beat the decline in biodiversity is to embrace the green space in your local area. Use fewer or no herbicide and pesticide in your own backyard. Let insects come back to your garden and the predators such as the Rainbow Bee-eater will follow. Another way is to join a local bushcare group. They come in all shapes and forms. Some revegetate bare areas, some are dedicated to weed bushland and local green areas and others are involved in the conservation of local wildlife. Whatever you do to protect our planet, one thing is certain, it is the right thing to do to protect our biodiversity.

The Rainbow Bee-Eater is a spectacular bird. With its green, blue, chestnut and yellow plumage, its slim build, slender curved bill and distinctive streamers that extend from the end of its tail, it is simply beautiful. Bee-Eaters are a familiar sight in many lightly-timbered parts of mainland Australia, where they often perch on fence-posts or overhead wires, then launch after flying insects, flying swiftly, sometimes with rapid twists and turns, before snapping the insect in its bill and returning to the perch to eat it. (Source: BirdLife Australia)

Rainbow Bee-eater - Merops ornatusRainbow Bee-eater - Merops ornatus

A striking, colourful bird, the Rainbow Bee-eater is medium sized, with a long slim curved bill and a long tail with distinctive tail-streamers. It has a golden crown and a red eye set in a wide black stripe from the base of the bill to the ears, which is edged with a thin blue line. The throat is orange-yellow, with a broad black band separating it from a green breast. The upperparts are green, with the flight feathers coppery and black tipped. The underwings are bright orange, with a black edge. The lower abdomen is blue. The tail is black, including the long tail streamers, with a blue tinge. Females have shorter, thicker tail streamers than males, but are otherwise similar. Young birds are duller and greener, lacking the black band on the chest and the long tail streamers. (Source: BirdLife Australia)


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