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Black-throated Finch Poephila cincta
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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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.

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

Distribution and population
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.

Population justification
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).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to the clearance and degradation of its habitats, however the rate of decline is no longer suspected to be moderately rapid.

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.

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 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.

Clement, P.; Harris, A.; Davis, J. 1999. Finches and sparrows. Christopher Helm, London.

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

Garnett, S.T., Crowley, G.M. and Barrett, G. 2002. Patterns and trends in Australian bird distributions and abundance: preliminary analysis of data from Atlas of Australian Birds for the National Land & Water Resources Audit. National Land & Water Resources Audit, Canberra, Australia.

Garnett, S.T., Szabo, J.K. and Dutson, G. 2011. The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2010. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.

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

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Text account compilers
Garnett, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Garnett, S.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Poephila cincta. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

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 - Black-throated finch (Poephila cincta) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Estrildidae (Waxbills, grass finches, munias and allies)
Species name author (Gould, 1837)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 496,000 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species