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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 111(2)

Status and habitat of the Carpentarian Grasswren (Amytornis dorotheae) in the Northern Territory

Justin Perry A C, Alaric Fisher B and Carol Palmer B

A CSIRO Ecosystems Sciences, Australian Tropical Science Precinct, PMB PO Aitkenvale, QLD 4814, Australia.
B Biodiversity Conservation, Department of Natural Resources Environment and the Arts, PO Box 496, Palmerston, NT 0831, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: justin.perry@csiro.au

Emu 111(2) 155-161 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MU10013
Submitted: 2 March 2010  Accepted: 19 November 2010   Published: 27 May 2011

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Birds with restricted geographical distributions are particularly vulnerable to environmental change. In order to evaluate their conservation status it is necessary to have accurate records of their distribution and how that distribution has changed over time. The determinants of the distribution and abundance of the Carpentarian Grasswren (Amytornis dorotheae) are poorly known. In this study, we revisited eight locations in the Northern Territory where this species had been previously recorded. We examined the habitat and management characteristics of the sites where it was present or absent at both a local and landscape scale. Non-detection of Carpentarian Grasswrens at seven of the eight sites suggests that this species has undergone an extensive retraction in range since they were last surveyed in 1986. An increase in the frequency of large, late dry-season fires in northern Australia seems to have had a profound affect on the distribution of this species and suggests it is extremely vulnerable to environmental change.

Additional keywords:fire, Northern Australia, Triodia.


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