The type of birds has also changed from predominately insectivores to honeyeaters and exotics that are mostly omnivores or nectivores. These changes have been brought about by factors such as:
- habitat fragmentation through removal of tree canopy for urban development and 10/50 tree removal
- decline in trees as they age with lack of replacement, particularly street trees deemed to be dangerous
- weakened tree preservation policies
- lack of political will to support new reserves and provide funding for the conservation of nature
- inappropriate fire regimes with too much fire (hazard reduction) or too little fire (over-mature bushland losing biodiversity)
- weed competition
- pest and disease
- chemicals such as outside insect bombs
Small birds play an important role in controlling insect pests that affect the health of trees. Bushland with a strong tree canopy in turn supports small birds. The continuing decline in bushland from development, exacerbated by climate change, creates a viscous circle of decline.
Ross provided many insights into bird characteristics and behaviour from his wealth of information of birdlife.
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