Poephila cincta


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Poephila cincta
Species Authority: (Gould, 1837)
Common Name(s):
English Black-throated Finch

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Garnett, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Garnett, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
This species has been downlisted to Least Concern as, although its population is suspected to be declining, the rate of decline is no longer suspected to be moderately rapid and the species does not approach any of the other thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the Red List criteria.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Poephila cincta once occurred in grassy woodlands throughout north-east Australia from Cape York Peninsula to north-east New South Wales. Substantial declines occurred in the southern nominate subspecies throughout the twentieth century with the last populations in south-east Queensland disappearing in the 1990s. This subspecies was previously thought to be declining at a rate of 20% every 10 years, but this is no longer thought to be the case (Garnett et al. 2011). However, in the last 25 years a decline in density and extent of occurrence has been noted in the northern P.c.atropygialis.

Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as fairly common or locally common and less common in the south of its range (Clement 1999).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The southern subspecies P. c. cincta inhabits grassy woodland dominated by eucalypts, paperbarks or acacias. It is apparently sedentary and feeds on seeds. P. c. atropygialis occurs in eucalypt and melaleuca-dominated savannas, feeding on a wide variety of grass seeds.

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Reasons for the decline of both subspecies appear to be associated with the spread and intensification of pastoralism, changes in fire regime and increases in the density of native woody weeds in grassy savannas. They have been under pressure from the clearance of woodland but is also declining in uncleared savanna. The decline began in the southern part of the species's range, where sheep grazing dominates land-use and feral rabbits are prevalent. The decline has been less extreme in the north where clearing has been less extensive and cattle dominate. The substantial contraction in range in the north coincided with intensification of cattle grazing and changed fire regimes. Trapping for the bird trade may historically have caused local extinctions after populations had already been reduced.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
A recovery plan has been prepared for subspecies cincta with habitat of the species conserved near Townsville. Unsuccessful searches for remnant subpopulations in New South Wales have been completed.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Subspecies cincta: Determine the characteristics of habitat and land management where the subspecies is persisting, ideally as a Ph.D. project. Document the locations of the remaining wild birds. Monitor remaining population on an annual basis. Determine the ownership of land occupied by the remaining population and discuss managment with landowners. Secure a buffer from clearing of at least 1 km around occupied habitat, ensuring that it contains a full range of local ecosystems. Subspecies atropygialis: determine cause of decline in pastoral lands.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Poephila cincta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 30 March 2015.
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