The Regent Honeyeater

25 March 2014

The Regent Honeyeater has a black head, neck and upper breast, a lemon yellow back and breast scaled black, with the underparts graded into a white rump, black wings with yellow patches and a black tail edged yellow. Females are smaller. The species is gregarious, moves in flocks and heads are bobbed when calling.

The Regent Honeyeater has a black head, neck and upper breast, a lemon yellow back and breast scaled black, with the underparts graded into a white rump, black wings with yellow patches and a black tail edged yellow. Females are smaller. The species is gregarious, moves in flocks and heads are bobbed when calling.

According to the Department of the Environment (Australian Government), the Regent Honeyeater has become a 'flagship species' for conservation in the threatened box-ironbark forests of Victoria and NSW. The Regent Honeyeater is dependent on the box-ironbark forests where it mainly feeds on nectar from a small number of eucalypt species, while acting as a pollinator for many flowering plants.

It is generally understood that efforts to save the Regent Honeyeater will aid in the conservation of remnant communities of other threatened animals and plants.

Originally found within 300 km of the coast between Brisbane and Adelaide, it is no longer found in South Australia, rarely seen in Queensland and there have been patchy reports from Victoria and NSW with the three main breeding areas being the Bundarra-Barraba area and Capertee Valley of NSW plus north-eastern Victoria. Birdlife International has identified several sites considered to be important for the Regent Honeyeaters and among the 10 areas in NSW, the Hunter Valley and Lake Macquarie are listed.

The major threat is the loss of their woodland habitat which has been cleared for expanding agriculture and industrial use. Since European settlement, 75% of box-ironbark forests have been cleared, leaving forest on less fertile soils. Due to the Regent Honeyeater's nomadic life and dependency on selected areas of forest, this has had a huge impact.

Partnerships have been formed between government agencies, non- government organisations, community groups and landholders in an effort to protect the habitat of the Regent Honeyeater.

In general, everyone can help by:-

  • Protecting woodlands.
  • Leaving dead and fallen timber on the forest floors and avoiding removing trees with hollows. Avoid buying timber from box-ironwood forests.
  • Support local conservation groups
  • Participate in special events, information nights and tree planting days.

Contact: Belinda McNab
Contact Phone: 0249215700