Name and preferred titles: Emeritus Professor Harry F. Recher, FRZS, AM

Senior Fellow, Ornithology, The Australian Museum, Sydney, NSW


Since arriving in Australia from the United States in 1967, Professor Recher has conducted extensive research on the ecology and behaviour of Australian forest and woodland birds, mammals, and arthropods. Initially these studies were conducted in New South Wales, with a large part of the work done in the southeastern part of the state. Beginning in 1986, Professor Recher developed extensive research interests in Western Australia. The research in southeastern New South Wales focussed on the effects of wildfire and long-term changes in small mammal and heathland bird communities in the Nadgee Nature Reserve, and on the impact of forestry operations on forest and woodland birds in the Eden Forestry District.  These studies resulted in a better understanding of the complex relations between patterns of rainfall and fire, which have significant bearing on the likely consequences of climate change to forest wildlife. Both work at Nadgee and the studies of forest birds in the Eden District led to recommendations for the conservation management of forest biodiversity in the South East. Many recommendations were adopted by forestry authorities and contributed to the development of wildlife management guidelines throughout southern Australia. As well, the New South Wales studies figure importantly in recommendations put forward by Dr. Recher for the conservation of the Great Western Woodlands.

A fuller biography is appended.

Regional Research:

I identify two principal research projects in the Nadgee Nature Reserve and four within the Eden Forestry District. All, however, are inter-related. A list of published papers is appended.

Nadgee Nature Reserve Research

1. The ecology of small mammals: In 1969, I established a small mammal study plot immediately south of the crossing of the Nadgee River adjacent to the Palmer’s old homestead. The aim of the research to be undertaken was to better understand the ecology and life history of small, ground-dwelling forest mammals, particularly Antechinus stuartii and Rattus fuscipes. I had already determined from a visit to Nadgee with John Calaby in 1968 that both species were present and abundant in the vicinity. From 1969 to 1972, animals were live-trapped, marked and released to obtain data on home ranges, population sizes, habitat use, and life history. Following the 1972 wildfire, the study evolved into one investigating the response of small mammals (A. stuartii, A. swainsonii, R. fuscipes, R. lutreolus, Mus musculus, Cercatatus nanus) to fire. From the mid-70’s, this project has been conducted by Dan Lunney and monitors year to year changes in species abundances (Recher et al. 2009), with the most recent sample being in 2012.

2. The effects of wildfire on heathland birds: In 1979, the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service planned to reduce the fire hazard on the Nadgee Nature Reserve through controlled burns. Included was a plan to burn some or all of the coastal heaths, including Impressa Moor, on the incorrect premise that Ground Parrots Pezoporus wallicus required heathlands less than 10 years in age post-fire. I rejected the notion that Ground Parrots were declining at Nadgee and organized volunteers to conduct a survey of birds in 1979 on the moors at Nadgee (Recher 1981). The survey found a healthy avifauna and numerous parrots countering the idea that the heaths needed to be burnt for the management of Ground Parrots. In 1980, a wildfire burnt much of Nadgee and approximately half of Impressa Moor. Following this fire, I established bird census transects traversing all of the remaining unburnt area and an equal sized and adjoining area of burnt heath. Transects were first censused in November 1981 and the vegetation measured. All measurements were repeated in 1982, The last census was in 2000 and the project has been effectively terminated due to difficulties in accessing Impressa following the Wilderness designation, road closures, and vehicle restrictions.

Eden Forestry District:

After preliminary survey work in 1975 on behalf of Harris-Daishowa Pty. Ltd., I initiated extensive studies of the ecology of forest birds in the Eden District. All of this work was done in collaboration with forest biologists from the Forestry Commission of NSW, with the museum’s involvement funded by a series of grants from Harris-Daishowa. All projects were inter-related, but are separated here for convenience.

1. The distribution and abundance of forest birds: Census transects for birds were located in State Forest from east of the Pacific Highway, along the Imlay Road, to the Southern Tablelands east of Bombala. Transects were selected to sample the range of available forest types and habitats and included some areas that had been logged for wood chips. Each transect was censused in two or more years from 1976 to 1981. Apart from providing basic information on the distribution and abundance of birds and year to year changes in abundances, an objective was to establish a baseline against which the impacts of logging could be monitored.

2. Fire effects on forest birds: Following the 1980 wildfire, in 1981 we surveyed birds and measured arthropod abundances on transects that had been affected by the fire. The study looked at the interaction between fire and logging (see Recher et al. 1985).

3. Ecology of forest and woodland birds: As part of the study of avian distribution and abundance, two sets of parallel transect lines encompassing an area of 10 ha were established on freehold land near the Bombala work camp, Bondi State Forest. A third 10 ha plot was added in 1980 to sample moister forests. These transects were censused seasonally and foraging data for species of birds encountered collected from 1980 to January 1981 (see Recher et al. 1983, 1985; Recher and Holmes 1985). Abundances of arthropods and other avian foods were measured. In addition to monitoring patterns of abundance, birds were colour banded and territorial and breeding data recorded.

4. Effects of logging and habitat fragmentation on forest birds: As the principal objective of all the research in the Eden District was to development conservation management guidelines for forest fauna in respect to forestry practices, each of the separate studies considered the effects of logging and habitat fragmentation on birds. Habitat fragmentation studies were conducted in the Bondi State Forest where extensive clearing of native forest was being undertaken for the establishment of Radiata Pine Pinus radiata plantations. Census transects were established in a series of corridors of native forest retained along creeks in the pine plantation and the abundances of birds measured annually from 1976 to 1984 (see Recher et al. 1987). Studies were also conducted on alternate logged and unlogged coupes from 1976 to 1980 in the East Boyd State Forest (see Kavanagh et al. 1985); Kavanagh and colleagues repeated this study at intervals after logging had been completed.

Subject of Presentation :

The nature of the research projects and their purpose is described above. I all instances my role was as a researcher and facilitator. I also assumed a primary responsibility for the reporting and publication of the research. The manner of the research (methods, analyses) and locations of the studies are fully described in the published papers. Some procedures, such as bird census procedures, were themselves published (e.g., Recher et al. 1983; Kavanagh and Recher 1983).

A brief description (abstract) and title of my proposed presentation follows. However, I cannot guarantee this will not change over the coming weeks.

Title and Abstract of Presentation:

Great Natural Experiments: Following Where Nature Leads

Harry F. Recher, Senior Fellow, The Australian Museum, Sydney

To be completed.

My Perspective on Science and its Value to Society:

For millennia science has provided humanity with the insight and knowledge needed for technological innovation. Science has enabled people to understand how life works and the chemistry and physics behind life. This has allowed humans to develop agriculture, exploit resources, grapple with the origins of the universe, and see into the future, as with models of climate change. What science has failed to do is provide an ethical basis for the use of the knowledge and technology created. Thus, even in the most developed nations, a majority of people remain ignorant of how the world functions and instead cling to superstition as they try to understand the meaning of life. While science has provided wondrous technologies that should enable all species to co-exist and share the world’s resources, it has instead led to a world where humans dominate and expropriate the world’s resources at the expense of all other life forms. The consequence is a world of mutual shared destruction, environmental collapse, and mass extinction of species. It does not need to be this way, but science has not provided the leadership to take other paths, with most of the scientific community blindly following the evolutionary imperative of self-enrichment. To paraphrase James Lovelock, ‘humans are too stupid to survive science’.

Personal Objectives as Regards Science:

My personal objectives regarding science are fairly simple. Having a good time satisfying my curiosity about the natural world has been foremost in my mind throughout my life. However, I do have other objectives when it comes to science and the research I conduct. Most important I try to use my understanding of nature that comes from research to protect all those species that we should care enough about to be prepared to share the world with them. Thus, I try to communicate science to society and explain in simple words the options available to humanity in using the knowledge and technology provided by science, and the consequences of each option that can be followed. I encourage my scientific colleagues to be less selfish and take more time in communicating with ordinary people. I advocate that scientists should be advocates. As ‘experts’, scientists are entitled to have opinions and go beyond the data showing society both the costs and benefits of new knowledge. As advocates, scientists need an ethical framework that transcends human superstition and steps aside from the evolutionary imperative of endless reproduction and resource consumption.


Images are much harder than words, mainly because collating all my images would be very time-consuming. However, I will give it some thought and have already had discussions with the museums archive’s staff about depositing my ‘images’ in the museum’s archives. Seems better than the tip, which is where they would go otherwise.


I do have considerable unpublished data. From the South East, these are mainly the data from the fire studies on Impressa Moor at Nadgee, but also considerable data from the work in the Bondi State Forest and environs on avian ecology. If they remain unpublished (somewhat likely given my age), they will be archived with my field books at the Australian Museum. However, I would still need to do considerable work ensuring the raw data were understandable, even where these have been summarized.

Early in the 1990’s, NSW National Parks funded a student to extract specie’s locations from my fieldbooks for entry on their data base. I presume those data still exist and are accessible.

25 September 2012



Emeritus Professor Harry F. Recher, FRZS, AM

Dr. Recher arrived in Australia in 1967 to join the staff of the University of Sydney as a Lecturer in Zoology.  He was appointed to the Australian Museum (Sydney) in 1968 as Head of the newly formed Environmental Studies team (see Recher and Pyke, 2012 for a history of ecological studies on birds at the Australian Museum).  His position at the Museum placed him in contact with environmental problems throughout Australia, but he was particularly involved with national park reservation and management, the conservation of wetlands and coastal ecosystems, the impact of forest management on wildlife, biological survey, and the effects of fire on fauna. Dr. Recher has special  interests in the structure of vertebrate communities, avian foraging ecology, the effects of fire on vertebrate populations, habitat fragmentation and the restoration of degraded landscapes, and the management and conservation of forest ecosystems.  Although he has worked extensively with mammals and forest arthropods, Dr. Recher is primarily an avian ecologist. In 1994, he was awarded the Serventy Medal by the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union for his contributions to Australian ornithology. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Zoological Society (NSW) in 2000 for his contributions to Australian zoology. In 2004, he received an Order of Australia (AM), General Division for contributions to the ecological sciences, environmental management and biodiversity conservation, and as an author and lecturer.

Since 1970, his research has focussed on Australian forest and woodland bird communities. Major projects included investigating the relationship between bark structure, insect abundance and the use of tree species by bark-gleaning birds; habitat structure and bird species diversity; community structure of acacia woodland (Mulga) birds; the foraging ecology of herons (Ardeidae); the foraging and breeding ecology of eucalypt woodland and forest birds; the long-term effects of fire on heathland birds in the Nadgee Nature Reserve, NSW; and, bird predation on canopy eucalypt arthropods. Dr. Recher’s current research includes studies of the long-term changes in the avifauna of a large urban park (Kings Park, Perth, WA); long-term changes in the avifauna of the Brisbane Waters National Park, NSW; the ecology of honeyeaters (Meliphagidae); and, the ecology of avian communities in the Great Western Woodlands centred on the Norseman area of Western Australia. Dr. Recher has a particular interest in the foraging ecology of Australian warblers (Acanthizidae). He also maintains projects in New South Wales investigating and small, ground-dwelling mammals on the Nadgee Nature Reserve. His study of small mammals at the Nadgee Nature Reserve in southeastern New South Wales which commenced in 1968 is conducted co-operatively with Dan Lunney from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and is probably now the longest study of any animal community in Australia. Dr. Recher’s work on heathland birds at Nadgee was also a long-running project having commenced in 1979, but it was terminated in 2000 by the wilderness dedication of the Nadgee Nature Reserve. His studies on Australian heathland birds started with work near Sydney in 1967 at Warrah in the Brisbane Waters National Park. This work continued through the early 1980s and was renewed in 2010 with the goal of documenting long-term changes in the avifauna emphasizing nomadic and migratory honeyeaters. Dr. Recher’s studies in the Great Western Woodlands, mulga, and on Australian warblers are conducted in collaboration with Emeritus Professor William E. Davis, Jnr. (Boston University, USA).

During the 1970s, Dr. Recher participated in studies of estuarine and mangrove ecology with Dr. Pat Hutchings from the Australian Museum. After a lapse of some years, this work was renewed in 1991 as a historical study of the biota of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River Catchment.

Although no longer actively conducting research in the Hawkesbury River, Dr. Recher maintains a strong interest in the river’s ecology and changing biota and applies his knowledge of marine ecology to the management of the Hawkesbury system through membership on the Estuarine Advisory Committee of Hornsby and Gosford Shires. All of Dr. Recher’s projects are designed to provide guidelines for the management of natural ecosystems.  Dr. Recher works in collaboration with biologists from the Australian Museum, CSIRO, Australian National University, Curtin University of Technology, Murdoch University, and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW).

In a major shift in research direction, in 1980 Dr. Recher initiated studies on the relation between forest birds and their arthropod prey. This work involved extensive sampling of arthropod populations in the same forests and woodlands where studies of avian foraging ecology were being conducted. In 1986, while on sabbatical from the Australian Museum at Curtin University in Western Australia, Dr. Recher collaborated with Professor J. D. Majer to develop a program studying the distribution, abundance and species richness of eucalypt canopy arthropod faunas in eastern and western Australia. This work was closely integrated with concurrent studies on forest and woodland birds. A series of grants enabled Drs. Recher & Majer to extend their canopy studies to fragmented ecosystems and subsequently to studies of arthropod bark faunas in Jarrah/Marri (Eucalyptus marginata/E. calophylla) and Wandoo (E. wandoo) ecosystems. Part of this work involved the experimental exclosure of birds from canopy foliage and the monitoring of long-term change in arthropod populations. Fieldwork on these projects has ceased, but writing up the extensive results obtained continues.

After leaving the Australian Museum and joining the University of New England in 1988, Dr. Recher initiated studies on the conservation and management of rainforest pigeons in northeastern New South Wales and extended his studies of forest birds to remnant vegetation to the New England Tablelands. His work on rainforest pigeons was conducted jointed with Drs. E. Date and H. Ford. This same group later obtained grants to study the avifauna of the Pillaga Scrub, a threatened ecosystem, in north central New South Wales. A joint grant with Dr. Hugh Ford (Zoology, UNE) from The World Wildlife Fund enabled work by students on the distribution, abundance and habitat requirements of forest owls in northeastern New South Wales. The studies of pigeons, owls and the Pillaga have been completed, but research on nest site selection by birds and the foraging behaviour of Australian birds begun in 1975 in southeastern New South Wales, as part of a joint study between the Australian Museum, the NSW Forestry Commission and Harris-Daishowa Pty. Ltd. into the ecological impacts of the Eden Woodchip Industry, has continued through 2012 with studies in Acacia and Eucalyptus woodlands in New South Wales, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory in collaboration with Professor Davis.

Dr. Recher resigned from the University of New England in 1995 taking up the position of inaugural Professor of Environmental Studies at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia. At Edith Cowan, Dr. Recher conducted a postgraduate discussion group on ecology and the environment and taught units on conservation biology and forest management. With his wife, Judy, he introduced a program of public speaking to postgraduate students at ECU, a program subsequently taken up by Curtin University and Macquarie University. After joining ECU, Dr. Recher focussed his research interests in Western Australia and has a special interest in the conservation management of the Great Western Woodlands.

Professor Recher retired in 2003 and was made Emeritus. He is also an adjunct Professor at Murdoch University and at Curtin University of Technology. On returning to Sydney in 2003, Dr. Recher was made a Senior Fellow in Ornithology at the Australian Museum.

Dr. Recher has published more than 350 scientific papers, conference papers, books, book chapters, popular articles, editorials, and reports as well as writing numerous book reviews. He is strongly committed to communicating the results of scientific research to the general public and assisting lay people to understand the environmental choices available to society and has written extensively on this topic. Before retiring in 2003, he frequently spoke to community groups and regularly appeared on radio and television to discuss environmental issues. While at the university, he was a regular presenter on the University of New England’s Talking to New England radio education program. During 1993, he wrote a series of environmental articles for the Weekend Times (Armidale) many of  which were reprinted in the Northern Star (Lismore). Since retiring, Dr. Recher has concentrated on research and writing and has been less active in public speaking and the media.

With Dan Lunney and Irina Dunn, Dr. Recher co-edited ‘A Natural Legacy: Ecology in Australia‘ named by the Royal Zoological Society (N.S.W.) in its annual book awards as the ‘best Australian natural history textbook’ published in 1979. A completely revised second edition was published in 1986, but contractual problems have prevented a 3rd edition from being published. Despite this, the book apparently remains in wide use throughout Australia. With Alan Keast, Hugh Ford and Denis Saunders, Dr. Recher edited ‘Birds of Eucalypt Forests and Woodlands: Ecology, Conservation, Management‘ published in 1985 by Surrey-Beatty Pty. Ltd. in association with the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union. The Royal Zoological Society (N.S.W.) named this book as the ‘best edited Australian natural history symposium’ published in 1985.  A children’s book written by Dr. Recher on Australia’s ‘Forests, Woodlands and Heaths‘ was published in 1991 by Reed Books Pty Ltd in association with the Australian Museum and was commended by the Royal Zoological Society as the ‘the Best Children’s Educational Series’. During 2005, Professors Davis and Recher decided to extend the ‘History of Ornithology’ series edited by Professor Davis and Dr. Jerry Jackson to Australia. A first volume of the ‘History of Australian Ornithology’ was published in 2008 with the collaboration of Dr. Walter Boles at the Australian Museum and the second volume is due for publication late in 2012. Work has commenced on a third volume, with publication planned for 2014.

In 1977, Dr. Recher chaired the Land Conservation Study Group which reported to the New South Wales Government on the needs for conservation in the State. Prior to that he had coordinated the environmental survey of Lord Howe Island for the Australian Museum and the Lord Howe Island Board. Ultimately, that study led to Lord Howe being declared a World Heritage Area. Dr. Recher’s work on the Eden Woodchip Industry led to the introduction of wildlife management and conservation protocols in production forests throughout Australia. Among other organisations, Dr. Recher has been a member of the N.S.W. National Parks & Wildlife Service Advisory Council, the Landscape Committee of the National Trust (NSW), and the Councils of the Royal Zoological Society (NSW), the Royal Society of Western Australia, and the Australian Conservation Foundation. As well, he was a member of the Board of  Western Australian (Natural History) Museum and President of the Royal Society of Western Australia.  He was a member of the Research Committee of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union during 1989 and 90. More recently, Dr. Recher has acted as a scientific adviser to The Wilderness Society (Australia), as a member of the society’s Scientific Committee, and the Bell Miner Study Group, a NSW Government initiative, and before that to Bush Heritage Australia.

Dr. Recher has been a regional editor for Colonial Waterbirds and an assistant editor for the short-lived Australian Zoological Reviews published by the Royal Zoological Society (NSW). He was an associate editor (1993 – 96), and book review editor (1993 – present) of Pacific Conservation Biology before taking over as editor in 1996. Apart from 18 months (2006-2007), he remained editor of Pacific Conservation Biology through 2009. Dr. Recher also participated actively in community affairs and has served as president of the Hawkesbury River Association, an activist scientifically based environmental organization active during the 1970s and early 1980s, as president of the Dangar Island League, a ratepayers association, and as Patron to WEAR, a waterfront owners association advising the NSW Government on rental costs of permissive occupancies. He is currently a member of Hornsby & Gosford Shire’s Estuarine Management Committee developing plans of management and conservation for the lower Hawkesbury River from Berowra Waters to Broken Bay.

In 1978, Dr. Recher was a visiting professor at the University of California (Irvine) in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology where he gave courses on the application of ecological theory to the management and conservation of natural areas and on the ecology of Australian vertebrates.  In 1974, he spent a semester as a visiting research associate at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, the University of California, Berkeley.  During 1986, Dr. Recher was a research fellow in the School of Biology at the Western Australian Institute of Technology (Curtin University of Technology) in Perth at the invitation of Professor Brian Collins.  At WAIT , Dr. Recher participated in the advanced ecology and applied biology courses. At the University of New England, he taught first year resource management and lectured on politics, conservation policy, and environmental ethics, as well as offering an ecology course for engineers and rural science students. From 1993 through 1995, he contributed to  the development of  conservation training programmes for resource managers from Southeast Asia and Indochina.

Dr. Recher remains active in biodiversity conservation and, as a scientist, is committed to open debate on Australia’s environmental and population problems and the need to redefine national priorities in the use of Australia’s natural resources. He believes that the conservation of continental biodiversity should be a national priority.  Dr. Recher stood for the Australian Senate as an independent green in the 1989 election with Irina Dunn and Peter Prineas, but was unsuccessful: he advocates greater involvement by biologists in the political process and argues strongly that conservation biologists must be activists. He is convinced that conservation biologists must set the agenda for society in the 21st Century in the same way that economists set the agenda for the 20th Century and that Australian biologists must be leaders and advocates in this process. Dr. Recher was elected to the National Biodiversity Council in 1994 as an inaugural member of the council and chaired the Council from 1996 to 1999.

Dr. Recher was born in New York City in 1938. He is married and has two daughters and two grandchildren. He became an Australian citizen in 1975. After retirement in 2003, he returned to his home on Dangar Island on the Hawkesbury River just north of Sydney.


Recher, H. F. and Pyke, G. (2012) A History of Environmental Ornithology at the Australian Museum. pp. 395-425 in ‘Contributions to the History of Australian Ornithology. Vol. 2’ ed by W. E. Davis, Jnr., H. F. Recher, and W. E. Boles, Memoirs of the Nuttall Ornithological Club, No. 18.

25 September 2012



Emeritus Professor Harry F. Recher, FRZS, AM


Sole Author:

Recher, H. F. 1991. Forests and Woodlands of Australia. Reed Pty. Ltd., Sydney.

Edited Books:

Keast, A., H.F. Recher, H. Ford & D. Saunders. (eds.) 1985. Birds of Eucalypt Forests and Woodlands: Ecology, Conservation, Management. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton.


Sole Author:

Recher, H.F. 1981. Death of an Australian myth: fire and its effects on wildlife. pp. 39-48. in. P. Stanbury, (ed.). Bushfires – Their Effect On Australian Life and Landscape. Macleay Museum, Sydney.

Recher, H.F. 1984. Use of bird census procedures in Australia: a review. pp 3-14. in Davies, S.J.J.F. (ed.). Methods of Censusing Birds in Australia. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union Report No. 7.

Recher, H.F. 1985. Forests, woodlands and birds. pp 1-10 in. Keast et al. (eds.), Birds of Eucalypt Forests and Woodlands: Ecology, Conservation, Management. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton.

Recher, H.F. 1985. Synthesis: A model of forest and woodland bird communities. pp 129-35 in. Keast et al. (eds.), Birds of Eucalypt Forests and Woodlands: Ecology, Conservation, Management. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton.

Recher, H. F. 1991. Alternative resources in the management and conservation of forest birds. pp. 25-34. in D. Lunney (ed) Conservation of Australia’s Forest Fauna. Royal Zoological Society, Sydney.

Recher, H. F. 1996. Conservation and management of eucalypt forest vertebrates. pp. 339-88. in R. M. DeGraff and R. I. Miller (eds.) Conservation of Faunal Diversity in Forested Landscapes. Chapman and Hall, London.

Recher, H. F. 2004b. Eucalypt forest birds: the role of nesting and foraging resources in conservation and management. Pp. 23-35 in Conservation of Forest Fauna. D. Lunney (ed) Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman. 2nd ed.

Joint Author:

Christensen, P., H. Recher and J. Hoare. 1981. Response of dry sclerophyll forest to fire. pp. 367-394. in A. M. Gill, R. H. Groves and I. R. Noble (eds). Fire and The Australian Biota. Australian Academy of Science., Canberra.

Recher, H.F. and P. Christensen. 1981. Fire and the evolution of the Australian biota. pp. 137-162. in. A. Keast (ed.)  Ecological Biogeography of Australia. Dr. W. Junk, The Hague.

Milledge, D. and H.F. Recher. 1985. A comparison of forest bird communities of the New South Wales south and mid-north coasts. pp 47-52. in Keast et al. (eds.), Birds of Eucalypt Forests and Woodlands: Ecology, Conservation, Management. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton.

Recher, H.F. and R. T. Holmes. 1985. Foraging ecology and seasonal patterns of abundance in a forest avifauna. pp 79-96. in Keast et al. (eds.), Birds of Eucalypt Forests and Woodlands: Ecology, Conservation. Management. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton.

Kavanagh, R., J. Shields, H.F. Recher, and W. Rohan-Jones. 1985. Bird populations of a logged and unlogged forest mosaic in the Eden woodchip area. pp 273-81. in Keast et al. (eds.), Birds of Eucalypt Forests and Woodlands: Ecology, Conservation, Management. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton.

Recher, H.F., D. Allen, and G. Gowing. 1985. The impact of wildfire on birds in an intensively logged forest. pp 283-90. in Keast et al. (eds.), Birds of Eucalypt Forests and Woodlands: Ecology, Conservation, Management. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton

Recher, H.F., J. Shields, R. Kavanagh & G. Webb. 1987. Retaining remnant mature forest for nature conservation at Eden, New South Wales. pp. 177-94. in D. A. Saunders et. al. (eds.) Nature Conservation: The Role of Remnants of Native Vegetation. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton.

Woinarski, J. C. Z., Recher, H. F., and Majer, J. D. 1997. Vertebrates of eucalypt formations. pp. 303-41 in J. Williams and J. Woinarski (eds) . Eucalypt Ecology: Individuals to Ecosystems. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Sutherland, E. F., Lunney, D., Matthews, A. and Recher, H. F. 2004. Post-fire observations of the eastern pygmy possum Cercartetus nanus in Nadgee Nature Reserve and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park New South Wales. pp. 230-236 in The Biology of Australian Possums and Gliders. R. L. Goldingay and S. M. Jackson (eds). Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton.

Recher, H. F. and Pyke, G. 2012. A History of Environmental Ornithology at the Australian Museum. pp. 395-425 in ‘Contributions to the History of Australian Ornithology. Vol. 2’ ed by W. E. Davis, Jnr., H. F. Recher, and W. E. Boles, Memoirs of the Nuttall Ornithological Club, No. 18.



Sole Author:

Recher, H. F. 1989. Counting terrestrial birds: use and application of census procedures in Australia. Australian Zoological Reviews 1, 25-45.

Recher, H. F. 1990. Ecology, forest management and the timber industry. Australian Biologist 3, 85-88.

Recher, H. F. 1990. Wildlife conservation in Australia: State of the nation. Australian Zoologist 26, 5-10.

Recher, H. F. 1990. Wildlife conservation in Australia: Prophesies of doom. Australian Zoologist 26, 66-70.

Recher, H. F. 1990. Response to ‘Conserving what? – The basis for nature conservation reserves in New South Wales 1967-1989. Australian Zoologist 26, 83-84.

Recher, H. F. 2002. Challenges for nature conservation. Australian Zoologist 32 (1), 112-116.

Recher, H. F. 2002. Scientists in the wilderness  Australian Zoologist 32(1): 139-149.

Joint Author:

Posamentier, H., S. Clark, D. Haynes, and H. Recher. 1981. Plant succession following wildfire in coastal heathland. Australian Journal of Ecology 6, 165-175.

Recher, H. F. and M. Schulz. 1983. Observations on the breeding of white-browed woodswallows. Corella 7, 1-6.

Recher, H. F., D. Milledge, P. Smith and W. Rohan-Jones. 1983.  A transect method to count birds in eucalypt forest. Corella 7, 49-54.

Kavanagh, R. and H. F. Recher. 1983. Observer variability and the estimation of bird numbers. Corella 7, 93-100.

Recher, H. F., G. Gowing, R. Kavanagh, J. Shields, and W. Rohan-Jones. 1983. Birds, resources and time in a tablelands forest. Proceedings Ecological Society Australia 12, 101-123.

Gowing, G. and H. F. Recher. 1984. Length-weight relationships for invertebrates from forests in south-eastern New South Wales. Australian Journal of Ecology 9: 5-8

Shields, J. and H. F. Recher. 1985. Breeding bird censuses: an evaluation of four methods for use in sclerophyll forest. Corella 8, 29-41.

Recher, H. F., G. Gowing and T. Armstrong. 1985. Causes and frequency of deaths among birds mist-netted for banding studies at two localities. Australian Wildlife Research 12, 321-6.

Gowing, G. and H. F. Recher. 1985. Further comments on length-weight relationships of invertebrates. Australian Journal of Ecology 10, 195.

Pyke, G. H. and H. F. Recher. 1985. Estimated forest bird densities by variable distance point counts. Australian Wildlife Research 12, 307-19.

Recher, H. F., R. T. Holmes, M. Schulz, J. Shields, and R. Kavanagh. 1985. Foraging patterns of breeding birds in eucalypt forest and woodland of south-eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Ecology 10, 399-420.

Holmes, R. T. and H. F. Recher. 1986. Search tactics of insectivorous birds foraging in an Australian eucalypt forest. Auk 103, 515-30

Holmes, R. T. and H. F. Recher. 1986. Determinants of guild structure in an Australian eucalypt forest – woodland bird community. Condor 88, 427- 39.

Recher, H. F., W. E. Davis and R. T. Holmes. 1987. Ecology of Brown and Striated Thornbills in forests of southeastern New South Wales. Emu. 87, 1-13.

Recher, H. F. and Gebski, V. 1989. Analysis of the foraging ecology of eucalypt forest birds: sequential versus single-point observations. Studies in Avian Biology 13, 534-48.

Recher, H. F., Kavanagh, R. P., Shields, J. M. and Lind, P. 1991. Ecological association of habitats and bird species during the breeding season in southeastern New South Wales. Australian Journal of Ecology 16, 337-52.

Woinarski, J. C. Z. and Recher, H. F. 1997. Impact and Response: A Review of the Effects of Fire on the Australian Avifauna. Pacific Conservation Biology 3, 183-205

Lindenmayer, D. B. and Recher, H. F. 1998. Aspects of ecologically sustainable forestry in temperate eucalypt forests – beyond an expanded reserve system. Pacific Conservation Biology 4, 4-10.

Recher, H. F. and Holmes, R. T. 2000. The foraging ecology of eucalypt forest and woodland birds, I. Differences between males and females. Emu 100, 205-15.

Recher, H. F and Lunney, D. H. 2003. Wilderness obsession: A threatening process. Nature Australia 27(9): 84. {reprinted Oct. 2004; Bandicoot Tails [Newsletter of the Friends of Scott Creek Conservation Park (SA)] No. 92: 2-3.}

Lunney, D. H., Lunney, H. W. M. and Recher, H. F. 2008. Bushfire and the Malthusian guillotine: survival of small mammals in a refuge in Nadgee Nature Reserve, southeastern New South Wales. Pacific Conservation Biology 14: 263-278.

Recher, H. F., Lunney, D., O’Connell, M. and Matthews, A. 2009.  Impact of fire and drought on populations of forest-dwelling small mammals in Nadgee Nature Reserve, south-eastern New South Wales. Wildlife Research 36: 143–158.



Sole Author:

Recher, H. F. 1981. Bird communities of heathlands and their management and conservation requirements Pp. 27-40. in Heaths in New South Wales. C. Haigh, ed., N.S.W. Parks and Wildlife, July 1981.

Recher, H. F. 1982. Pinus radiata – a million hectare miscalculation.  Australian Natural History 20, 319-325.

Recher, H. F. 1984. The ‘conservation ethic’ in practice. Australian Natural History 21, 152-154.

Recher, H. F. 1986. Integrating national park and forestry objectives for wildlife conservation: the forester’s responsibility. The Forestry Log 18, 5-7.

Recher, H. F. 1990. Fire & its effect on heathland plants & birds. Native Plants for New South Wales 25, 13-16.

Recher, H. F. 2005. Birds, fire and Nadgee. Pp. 24 -25 in ‘Fire and Birds: Fire Management for biodiversity’ ed by P. Olsen and M. Weston, Supplement to Wingspan, Vol. 15, No. 3., September 2005.

Joint Author:

Recher, H. F., D. Lunney and H. Posamentier. 1975. ‘A grand natural experiment’. Australian Natural History 18: 152-163.

Recher, H. F. and W. Rohan-Jones. 1981. Forests and wildlife management: conflict or challenge. Living Earth. June 1981, pp. 11-14.

Recher, H. F., M. Fox, and H. Tranter. 1981. Nature’s flower gardens. Australian Natural History 20: 111-116.

Recher, H. F., D. Lunney, P. Smith and W. Rohan-Jones. 1981. Woodchips or wildlife?. Australian Natural History 20(8):239-244.



Sole Author:

Recher, H. F. 1976. An interim report: the effects of woodchipping on wildlife at Eden. Dept. Env. Studies Tech. Report 76/3 pp. 1-33.

Recher, H. F. and H. Posamentier. 1972. A preliminary report on a population survey of small mammals in dry sclerophyll forests. Dept. Env. Studies Tech. Report 72/1, pp. 1-13.

Recher, H. F., S. S. Clark and D. Milledge. 1975. An assessment of the potential impact of the woodchip industry on ecosystems and wildlife in southeastern Australia. pp. 108-183 in. A Study of the Environmental, Economic and Sociological Consequences of the Wood Chip Operations in Eden, New South Wales. W. D. Scott and Co., Sydney, Australia.

Recher, H. F., W. Rohan-Jones and P. Smith. 1980. Effects of integrated logging on wildlife with recommendations for management. Forestry Commission of N.S.W. Research Note No. 42, Govt. Printer, Sydney. 83 pp.

Shields, J., R. Kavanagh, H. F. Recher and G. Webb. 1985. The effectiveness of buffer strips for wildlife management within pine plantations at Bondi S.., N.S.W. Forestry Commission (NSW), Internal Report.

Jenkins, B. and Recher, H. F. 1990. Conservation in the eucalypt forests of the Eden Region in south east New South Wales. Dept. of Ecosystem Management, University of New England, Armidale. July 1990.

Published Conference Papers:

Sole Author:

Recher, H. F. 1985. A diminishing resource: Mature forest and its role in forest management. pp 28-33. in. J. Kikkawa (ed.), Wildlife Management In the Forests and Forestry – Controlled Lands in the Tropics and the Southern Hemisphere. IUFRO, University of Queensland, Brisbane.

Recher, H. F. 1991. Reforming the NSW forestry act – the ecological imperative. pp. 53-60 in Towards

Recher, H. F. 1992. Paradigm and paradox: sustainable forest management. pp 7-18. in  M. Rowland (ed) Sustainable Forest Management. Board of Environmental Studies Occasional Paper No. 18, University of Newcastle, Newcastle.

Recher, H. F. 1998. Parks for biodiversity: an old and tarnished vision. pp. 128-139 in  P. Prineas (ed). National Parks: New Visions for a New Century, Proceedings of the Paddy Pallin Conference , Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales, Sydney.

Joint Author:

Recher, H. F., D. Lunney and H. Posamentier. 1978. Effects of wildfire on small mammals at Nadgee Nature Reserve, N.S.W. Proceedings Third Fire Ecology Symposium, Forests Commission Victoria.

Recher, H. F. and W. Rohan-Jones. 1978.  Wildlife conservation: a case for managing forests as ecosystems. IUFRO Proceedings 8th World Forestry Congress. Jakarta, Indonesia.