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Grey Grasswren Amytornis barbatus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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Although this species may have a restricted range, it is not believed to 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 has not been quantified, 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 found in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia, Australia. Nominate barbatus has a restricted distribution of c.100 km2 on the floodplain of the Bulloo River on the New South Wales-Queensland border. Subspecies diamantina is found in the Lake Eyre Basin, south-western Queensland and north-eastern South Australia.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be rare in Queensland and South Australia and vulnerable in New South Wales (Higgins et al. 2001). The nominate barbatus may number c.15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
This population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat degradation (del Hoyo et al. 2007).

Cattle grazing is considered a threat, particularly in dry years, but stock numbers have probably been higher in the past. Diversion of water from the Bulloo River may be a threat in the future but is not currently planned (Garnett and Crowley 2000). Though subspecies diamantina's habitat of swampy shrubland is fragmented, it is extensive, and does not appear to have been degraded by pastoralism, the primary land-use (Garnett 1992).

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. 1992. Threatened and extinct birds of Australia. Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union and Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, Moonee Ponds, Australia.

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

View 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: Amytornis barbatus. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016.

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 Favaloro & McEvey, 1968
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 55,900 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species