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Black-throated Finch

Southern Black-throated Finch (Poephila cincta cincta) inhabit open woodlands and savannas of north-eastern Australia. It is one of the many granivorous (seed-eating) birds that have declined in this region, and is declared Endangered nationally and in Queensland. The total population is estimated at 1,500 (900–2,100) individuals, and has likely lost over 88% of its historic range (Buosi et al. 2020).

The main threats to Black-throated Finch are habitat loss and degradation, which result from land clearing, grazing, unsuitable fire regimes and drought; and the interactions among these threats (Mula Laguna et al. 2019). The decline in eastern Queensland began early in the 20th century in response to pastoralism, particularly in the southern part of its range. Clearing of habitat continues, mainly for urban development, agriculture and mining (Vanderduys et al. 2016, Reside et al. 2019, Reside and Watson 2019). Habitat degradation results from droughts and weeds, particularly the invasive grasses such as buffel grass Cenchrus ciliaris and grader grass Themeda quadrivalvi (Mula-Laguna et al. 2019). Black-throated finch is known to occur on lands of at least the following Indigenous Peoples: Bindal, Birriah, Gudjala, Gurambilbarra, Jagalingou, Jangga, Wangan and Wulgurukaba (Buosi et al. 2020).

There are many important gaps in our knowledge about Black-throated finch, particularly on how they use the landscape under different conditions, factors affecting breeding success and the stability of populations. Importantly, we need to improve our understanding on the best options for conserving Black-throated finch, including restoring their habitat. 

Please be in touch if you're interested in discussing a project: April Reside a.reside(at)

Recent research projects on Black-throated Finch:

  • Kylle Quinn (Masters): Spatially explicit Population Viability Analysis of the endangered Black-throated Finch Southern subspecies (Poephila cincta cincta) in Northern Queensland.

  • Emma Fitzsimmons (Masters): Making the most of scarce funds: Evaluating the benefits of actions for the Endangered Black-throated Finch.

  • Juan Mula Laguna (PhD): Understanding uncertainty to inform conservation: Tools to protect the endangered black-throated finch southern subspecies.

  • Courtney Melton (Honours): How do offsets for habitat loss compare with known habitat of the target species? A case study of the Endangered Black-throated Finch (Poephila cincta cincta).

  • Juliana Rechetelo (PhD): Movement, habitat requirements, nesting and foraging site selection: a case study of an endangered granivorous bird, the Black-throated finch Poephila cincta cincta in north-eastern Australia.

  • Stanley Tang (PhD): Conservation genetics of granivorous birds in a heterogeneous landscape: the case of the Black-throated Finch (Poephila cincta)


For more information, visit the Black-throated Finch Recovery Team website:

Relevant publications:

Reside, A.E., Cosgrove, A.J., Pointon, R., Trezise, J., Watson, J.E.M., Maron, M., 2019. How to send a finch extinct. Environmental Science & Policy 94, 163-173.


​Vanderduys, E. P., Reside, A. E., Grice, A., & Rechetelo, J. (2016). Addressing potential cumulative impacts of development on threatened species: the case of the endangered Black-throated Finch. PLoS ONE, 11(3), e0148485.

Rechetelo, J., Grice, A., Reside, A. E., Hardesty, B. D., & Moloney, J. (2016). Movement patterns, home range size and habitat selection of an endangered resource tracking species, the Black-throated Finch (Poephila cincta cincta). PLoS ONE, 11(11), e0167254.

Vine, S., & Reside, A. E. (2014). Down to the wire. Australian Birdlife (December).

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