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Mortality in Pardalotes in Melbourne, 1960 to 1980


Forty six museum specimens of pardalotes were found dead in the Melbourne area between 1960and 1980. An additional 47 birds were reported dead in that period. but lelt uncollected. An analysis of the dates of these mortality records indicated that deaths occurred non-randomly over months and years, wilh two years (1974 and 1977) and four months (May-August) accounting for the butk of deaths.The three taxa ol pardalotes represented (Pardalotus punctatus and Pardalotus striatus morphs, striatus and ornatus) had correlated mortality dates. although punctatus deaths tended to be more evenly spaced. There was no significant correlation of deaths with three weather variables examined. There was little evidence that starvation or epidemic were the causeof the deaths. lt is suggested that the pattern of deaths reflects a major variaton in actual density and aggregation of pardalotes in this area during this period.
 


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