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Purple-crowned Fairywren Malurus coronatus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Taxonomic source(s)
Christidis, L.; Boles, W. E. 2008. Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.

Distribution and population
This species is endemic to northern Australia. Subspecies coronatus is found along seven river systems in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Its distribution is severely reduced, and it is no longer found on parts of the Pentecost and Fitzroy rivers. Subspecies macgillivrayi is found in eastern Northern Territory and north-west Queensland.

Population justification
The species has a large global population estimated to be 10,000-28,000 individuals (Higgins et al. 2001). Subspecies coronatus numbers c.12,000; subspecies macgillivrayi numbers c.18,000 across 12 subpopulations.

Trend justification
Subspecies coronatus is suspected to be declining owing to ongoing habitat loss and degradation (del Hoyo et al. 2007). Subspecies macgillivrayi is thought to have a stable population.

Livestock eat and trample the species habitat, seeking access to water. Fires are increasing in frequency since the advent of pastoralism, and have been detrimental in some places. These processes expose soil, leading to erosion and, ultimately, denudation and weed invasion of river banks which are then abandoned by the species. This has been ameliorated along some parts of the Victoria River where several large pastoral stations have excluded stock from riparian areas. The high and increasing densities of weeds along many rivers may eventually have an adverse effect (Garnett and Crowley 2000).

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2007. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Garnett, S. T.; Crowley, G. M. 2000. The action plan for Australian birds 2000. Environment Australia, Canberra.

Higgins, P. J.; Peter, J. M.; Steele, W. K. 2001. Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds: Tyrant-flycatchers to Chats. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Harding, M., Fisher, S.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Malurus coronatus. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Maluridae (Australasian wrens)
Species name author Gould, 1858
Population size 6700-19000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 364,000 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species