The Regent Honeyeater, formerly more widely distributed in the south-eastern Australian mainland through to Adelaide and South Australia is now confined to Victoria and New South Wales.
The Regent Honeyeater is found in eucalypt forests and woodlands, particularly in blossoming trees and mistletoe. Since European settlement one-third of Australia's woodlands have been cleared and since have been causing many species that rely on this habitat, including the Regent Honeyeater, to be threatened. Lower Hunter is the most important breeding area in NSW for the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater.
The Tomalpin Woodlands, the most important breeding site for the Regent Honeyeater in the Lower Hunter Valley KBA, has been zoned for industrial development as part of the Hunter Economic Zone. The approval allows for clearing of up to 90% of mature trees. This development would be catastrophic for the Critically Endangered Regent Honeyeater as there are less than 400 birds remaining and they show a strong fidelity to this site.
BirdLife Australia is calling on the NSW and Australian Governments, and Cessnock City Council to permanently protect the important breeding habitat of the Critically Endangered Regent Honeyeater from imminent destruction by the development of the Hunter Economic Zone.
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Photo credit: Andrew Silcocks, Chris Tzaros & Dean Ingwersen