Tiny bird's big breeding effort saves it from extinction in South Australia

Date: 10-Dec-18
Author: Josh Cole

The mallee emu-wren was thought to be 'functionally extinct' in South Australia but is breeding in prodigious numbers © Ron Knight

The mallee emu-wren was thought to be 'functionally extinct' in South Australia but is breeding in prodigious numbers

The Mallee emu-wren is back in South Australia following bushfires that were thought to have wiped it out in the state.

The birds are small, at an average 16.5 centimetres, and prefer hiding among spinifex to flying leaving them susceptible to the loss of ground cover either through land clearing or bushfires.

In 2014 fires swept through Ngarkat Conservation Park, stripping away singificant portions of the emu-wrens' habitat, leading to its designation as being 'functionally extinct' in South Australia.

However, the ABC has reported that the bird had been successfully breeding in surprising numbers thanks in part to reintroduction efforts from Victoria's Mallee region as well as the Murray Sunset and Hattah-Kulkyne national parks. Of particular interest is cooperation between birds in raising chicks, ensuring their survival as numbers grow.

While the emu-wren is also known to live in Victoria and New South Wales the news of its return is welcome to South Australian bird afficionados. This good news is likely to continue as another 200 birds are planned to be introduced to Ngarkat in the near future.

Positive Action


Subscribe to Positive Environment News

Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes. 

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Stumble It Email This More...


Josh                                              Cole
Author: Josh Cole

Josh comes to Planet Ark after a stint in legal communication and from a background in print journalism. He studied Communications and Media as a mature age student in Wollongong where he re-discovered his love for the natural environment.

Related News: