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Range DescriptionManorina melanotis is endemic to the Murray Mallee region of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, Australia, and is thought to have been distributed throughout most of this region prior to European settlement (Clarke 2007). Range and numbers declined dramatically during the 1990s. In 1995, it was reported that just 28 birds were known in the wild, in north-west Victoria. Searches for the species in South Australia during the 1980s and New South Wales in 1993 were unsuccessful in locating the species (Clarke 2007). Conservation measures have since assisted the species's recovery. Extensive surveys during 2000-2002 found that the Riverland Biosphere Reserve (formerly the Bookmark Biosphere Reserve) in South Australia supported c.3,750 individuals, although the effective population size was only 390 (210-726) due to a skewed sex ratio (adults: 1 female: 1.81 males) and the species's complex social organisation (Clarke et al. 2005). This represented over 95% of the species's total effective population. These surveys were conducted during an upward population fluctuation (Clarke et al. 2005), following a series of good seasons, and the population may now stand at the lower end of these estimates owing to a drought in the region and a fire in 2006 (R. Clarke in litt. 2007). A smaller population of 53 (32-85) colonies of pure and hybrid birds (from interbreeding with the Yellow-throated Miner M. flavigula) persists in the Murray Sunset National Park and a number of other small scattered colonies exist at Scotia Sanctuary and Tarawi Nature Reserve in western New South Wales, and Bronzewing Flora and Fauna Reserve in northwestern Victoria (Baker-Gabb 2007). Only those in Riverland and Murray-Sunset are now considered sufficiently pure to be worth conserving (D. Baker- Gabb pers. comm.).