email a friend
printable version
Forty-spotted Pardalote Pardalotus quadragintus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information
BirdLife Species Champion Become a BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme Supporter
For information about BirdLife Species Champions and Species Guardians visit the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme.

This species is classified as Endangered because it has a very small range. Its distribution is severely fragmented and it is restricted to a very small area when breeding. Although the population of this species is presently stable, a significant proportion of its habitat continues to be destroyed and at least two locations have recently been lost.

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

9-10 cm. Greenish pardalote with spotted wings. Sexes, adults and juveniles similar. Olive-green upperparts, finely scalloped darker, greyish-white below. Yellow wash around face and undertail-coverts. Black wings and tail with prominent white spots on tips of feathers. Similar spp. Juvenile Spotted Pardalote P. punctatus is more boldly patterned above, with greyish ear-coverts, buff-white spots on crown and orange-brown rump. Calls differ. Voice Inadequately known. Double-noted, territorial piping, second note marginally lower-pitched than first (P. punctatus has second note appreciably lower).

Distribution and population
Pardalotus quadragintus is endemic to Tasmania, Australia, and some larger offshore islands. It is present in all available habitat on Maria (974 individuals in 2009) and Bruny Islands (450 individuals in 2009), which contain over 90% of the population. Small remnant colonies remain on Flinders Island (c.70 birds between 1993-1997, however, following extensive bushfires in 2002, just 14 individuals were estimated in 2009), and on the mainland of Tasmania at Tinderbox Peninsula (46 individuals in 2009), Howden (10 individuals in 2009) and Coningham (6 individuals in 2009) (Bryant and Tzaros 2010). Colonies found previously at Lime Bay and Mt Nelson were not found in the most recent surveys and may have expired. The population was thought to be stable: In 1986, a census counted 3,520 individuals in 110 colonies in 38 km2. In 1994-1997, 3,840 individuals were counted in 121 colonies in 41 km2 (Garnett and Crowley 2000). However, in 2009 only 1,486 birds were found at 54 of the 102 colonies surveyed, representing a loss of 47% of colonies (Bryant and Tzaros 2010).

Population justification
In 1994-1997, 3,840 individuals were counted (Garnett and Crowley 2000). However, the population has recently declined by >50% and in 2009 only 1,486 birds were counted (Bryant 2010). The number of mature individuals is therefore likely to be between 1,000-1,500.

Trend justification
In 1994-1997, 3,840 individuals were counted (Garnett and Crowley 2000). However, the population has recently declined by >50% and in 2009 only 1,486 birds were counted (Bryant 2010). The global population is thus estimated to have declined by 50-79% in three generations (12 years).

It is found exclusively in open white gum Eucalyptus viminalis forest or woodland. E. viminalis provides most of its food in the form of invertebrates, lerp secretions and manna, as well as hollows for nesting.

About 60% of occupied habitat is reserved, but on private land, habitat continues to be lost because of clearance, sheep-grazing (preventing E. viminalis regeneration), subdivision and urban development. During the 1985 breeding season it was noted that timber clearance was underway or had taken place in or adjacent to six colonies on Bruny Island (Brown and Rounsevell undated). Extended periods of low rainfall have resulted in habitat degradation, and in the long-term climate change may be the greatest threat (Bryant and Tzaros 2010). The Noisy Miner Manorina melanocephala and introduced Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae are potential competitors or predators. Wildfire that retards regrowth of E. viminalis can also be a threat, particularly for isolated populations. Human disturbance is likely to have contributed to its decline in urban and public use areas (Bryant 2010).

Conservation Actions Underway
A key site on north Bruny Island has been acquired and declared a state reserve for the species with an approved management plan. Key sites have also been acquired on Flinders Island. Guidelines have been established for production forestry within 5 km of the coast between Bicheno and Southport and for the Maria Island National Park Management Plan. Further E. viminalis clearance in or near existing colonies is forbidden. A community network has been established on Bruny Island. A recovery plan has been implemented and a new integrated plan prepared. Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue to monitor populations at 10-year intervals. Map E. viminalis communities in greater detail. Determine relationship between site variables and food productivity. Determine juvenile dispersal, home range and colony dynamics. Re-establish E. viminalis at sites within 5 km of the coast between Bicheno and Southport, particularly near existing colonies. Manage existing stands by limiting grazing and firewood-collection and managing fuel levels with a mosaic of low-intensity burns. Develop a management strategy for E. viminalis forest. Ensure habitat regrowth (on Bruny Island) is permitted (Brown and Rounsevell undated). Monitor colonies on Bruny Island, with priority given to those over 50 birds (Brown and Rounsevell undated). Maintain community awareness of the species and involvement in recovery actions.

Brown, P. B.; Rounsevell, D.E. Undated. The Forty-Spotted Pardalote Pardalotus quadragintus on Bruny Island. Unknown: 25-31.

Bryant, S. and Tzaros, C. 2010. A forty-spot of trouble. Wingspan 20(2): 30-33.

Bryant, S. L. 2010. Conservation assessment of the endangered forty-spotted pardalote 2009–2010. Report to Threatened Species Section, DPIPWE and NRM South. Hobart.

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

Further web sources of information
Australian Govt - Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000 - Recovery Outline

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
Allinson, T, Benstead, P., Garnett, S., McClellan, R., Pilgrim, J., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Bryant, S., Rounsevell, D.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Pardalotus quadragintus. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Forty-spotted pardalote (Pardalotus quadragintus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Pardalotidae (Pardalotes)
Species name author Gould, 1838
Population size 1000-1500 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 330 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species