Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Male lyrebirds take part in complex displays in order to attract a mate; these take place on platforms constructed from trampled vegetation on the forest floor (4). Whilst giving a range of calls, the male fans his striking tail and arches it over his back (3). Displays take place between May and August. After mating the female constructs a domed nest of sticks, into which she lays a single egg, which she then incubates alone (4).   Using their strong feet and claws, lyrebirds unearth invertebrates, such as spiders and insects on the forest floor (4). These unusual birds have weakly developed wings and rarely fly, even if disturbed (4).
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Description

Lyrebirds are well known for the male's impressive courtship display, in which he shows off his magnificent tail. Albert's lyrebirds have deep chestnut upperparts, with a reddish-buff throat and foreneck (2). Males have an extremely long tail that can reach 50 cm, and is glossy black above and silvery-grey below (2). Lyrebirds are astonishing mimics, giving calls that sound like other rainforest animals and even man-made cars and chainsaws (4).
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Distribution

Range Description

Menura alberti is confined to a relatively small area of rainforest between Blackwall Range, New South Wales, and Mistake Range, Queensland, Australia. New South Wales is thought to support less than 800 pairs, with highest densities at Whian Whian State Conservation Area in Nightcap Range. Subpopulations are also found along Tweed, McPherson and Richmond Ranges. An isolated group of less than 10 birds persists in the Blackwall Range. In Queensland, the population may be of a similar size, although possibly smaller, and occurs patchily from Lamington National Park around Main Range to Mistake Range, with a small population on Tamborine Mountain. In optimal habitat, territories are widely spaced with a density of approximately five pairs/km2.

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Range

Rainforests of e Australia (se Queensland and extreme ne NSW.
  • Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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Range

Endemic to Australia, Albert's lyrebird is now restricted to mountainous areas between the Nightcap Range in northeast New South Wales and the Mistake Range, southeast Queensland (3).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It lives in moist forest, mostly above 300 m with highest densities on poorer soils which develop a deep leaf-litter. It favours areas with Antarctic Beech Nothofagus moorei and wet sclerophyll forest with a dense understorey of rainforest plants, but is absent from some rainforest types, including complex notophyll vine forest on high nutrient soils and from dry sclerophyll forest. It feeds on terrestrial invertebrates.


Systems
  • Terrestrial
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These rainforest birds are found in forests above 300 metres, where there is a dense understory; they are particularly associated with Antarctic beech (Nothofagus moorei) (2).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s
Baker, B., Burbidge, A., Dutson, G., Ford, H., Garnett, S., Gynther, I., Herman, K. & Woinarski, J.

Justification
This species is listed as Near Threatened as although it is restricted to a small range and number of locations and the number of individuals is small, favourable management (including protection of the most important population) has meant that habitat quality and numbers are not thought to be declining. Regular monitoring of both species and habitat is needed to confirm the continuing effectiveness of this management.


History
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)