Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Endangered as Stipiturus malachurus intermedius
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, this species had a recovery plan in force at the time the legislation provided for the Minister to decide whether or not to have a recovery plan (19/2/2007).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan] as Stipiturus malachurus intermedius.
 
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat Abatement Plan for Reduction in Impacts of Tramp Ants on Biodiversity in Australia and its Territories (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006p) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Threat Abatement Plan for predation by feral cats (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008zzp) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by the European Red Fox (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008zzq) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey Guidelines for Australia's Threatened Birds. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.2 (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2010l) [Admin Guideline].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument] as Stipiturus malachurus intermedius.
 
List of Migratory Species (13/07/2000) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000b) [Legislative Instrument] as Stipiturus malachurus intermedius.
 
List of Migratory Species - Amendment to the list of migratory species under section 209 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (26/11/2013) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2013af) [Legislative Instrument] as Stipiturus malachurus intermedius.
 
State Listing Status
SA: Listed as Endangered (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (South Australia): June 2011 list) as Stipiturus malachurus intermedius
Non-statutory Listing Status
NGO: Listed as Endangered (The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2010)
Scientific name Stipiturus malachurus intermedius [26005]
Family Maluridae:Passeriformes:Aves:Chordata:Animalia
Species author  
Infraspecies author Ashby,1920
Reference  
Other names Stipiturus malachurus intermedia [80574]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Stipiturus malachurus intermedius

Common name: Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula)

Other names: Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren

The taxonomy of this subspecies is conventionally accepted.

At the species level, the taxonomy of the Southern Emu-wren Stipiturus malachurus is yet to be resolved (Schodde & Mason 1999), and the number of subspecies recognized varies between sources (see Mayr & Cottrell 1986; Rowley & Russell 1997; Schodde 1982; Schodde & Mason 1999). However, all authors acknowledge populations in the Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australia, as subspecies intermedius (Ashby 1920; Mayr & Cottrell 1986; Rowley & Russell 1997; Schodde 1982; Schodde & Mason 1999). One study has suggested that the boundaries of Stipiturus malachurus subspeces should be regarded as uncertain and are not concordantly defined by mtDNA and plumage (Donnellan et al. 2009). Analysis by Donnellan and colleagues (2009) shows that the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) and the Southern Emu-wren (south east SA subpsecies) Stipiturus malachurus polionotum share a haplotype.

The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) has an overall length of approximately 16-18 cm, including the exceptionally long tail of about 10-11 cm. Body mass is generally 7-8 g (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998). It is sexually dimorphic, i.e. males and females differ in appearance. In the male, the upper-parts are grey-brown (grey tone most prominent around the neck) with thick dark brown to black streaks, extending from the crown to the rump, and a rufous-brown forehead. The eye-brow, throat and upper breast are a pale, light blue (and unlike some other sexually dimorphic Australian wrens, the blue plumage is retained throughout the year). The underparts are light brown or tawny-brown except for the belly, which is white. The female is similar to the male in appearance, but has: (1) a light grey-brown to olive-grey forehead (reddish-brown or rufous-brown in the male); (2) yellow-brown on the eye-brow, throat and upper-breast (pale blue in the male); and (3) more prominent streaking on the upperparts, particularly on the crown and forehead (Higgins et al. 2001; Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998). These differences are apparent from the time the young leave the nest, with juvenile males able to be distinguished by the pale grey-blue colouring to the eye-brow, throat and upper-breast (Mount Lofty Range Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998).

In general, juveniles can be distinguished from adult birds by the short and still growing flight feathers, the shorter tail, and the paler colouring to the bill, which also has a pale, fleshy gape when juveniles are very young (Pickett 2000). Juvenile males can be distinguished from adult males by the paler, grey-blue colouring on the eye-brow, throat and upper breast, and the heavy blackish streaking on the forehead. The intensity of the blue plumage and the degree of streaking on the forehead reach an adult level by approximately three months of age, at which point juvenile males become essentially indistinguishable from adult males when viewed in the field (Pickett 2000). Differences between juvenile and adult females are likely to be similar to those apparent in subspecies malachurus (Higgins et al. 2001, see which for details). During the breeding season, older juvenile females can be distinguished from adult females by the absence of a brood patch (Pickett 2000).

The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) is usually seen in pairs or family groups during the breeding season, and in pairs outside of the breeding season. It may also occur in small groups: in the breeding season, groups are formed when pairs or families loosely coalesce at the boundaries of their home ranges; outside of the breeding season, groups are formed when pairs and recruits come together. The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) is socially monogamous, and breeds in dispersed (i.e. solitary) pairs (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

More generally, emu-wrens Stipiturus are insectivorous passerines that have a characteristic tail comprised of six long, emu-like feathers. They have short, rounded wings and are relatively poor fliers. They tend to hop, flutter, and scramble through their habitat, which is characterised by dense, low vegetation. The usual calls consist of very high-pitched trills, though louder and harsher 'buzzing' calls are given when birds are alarmed (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998).

The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) is restricted to south-eastern South Australia, where it is found only on the Fleurieu Penisula and in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; Schodde & Mason 1999). Its present range extends from Cox Scrub Conservation Park south to Deep Creek Conservation Park (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005; Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998). During a survey conducted in 1993, populations were located in the Deep Creek, Parawa, Myoponga, Mount Compass, Nangkita and Finniss regions (Littlely & Cutten 1994). Subsequent records indicate that populations have since disappeared from the Nangkita-Tooperang and Myponga areas, the Black Swamp area (near Finniss), and from sites near Parawa (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005; Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.). Bushfires destroyed the Southern Emu-wren population at Cox Scrub Conservation Park in 1983 (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998), but birds were re-introduced to the park in 2001 and 2002 (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005; M. Pickett 2002, pers. comm.).

The extent of occurrence is estimated at 195 km². This estimate represents the total combined area of two 100% minimum convex polygons that were derived from the coordinates of sites in the northern (153.4 km²) and southern (41.4 km²) parts of the Fleurieu Peninsula that were occupied in 2004 (based on this data, the extent of occurrence is estimated at approximately 731 km² if all sites are combined within a single polygon) (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

The extent of occurrence has decreased since the arrival of Europeans (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998). The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) once occurred in suitable habitat across the Fleurieu Peninsula, its former range extending from Yundi south to Deep Creek, and east to the mouths of the Finniss River and Currency Creek (Littlely & Cutten 1994; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.). The subspecies has since declined at the northern limits of its range, e.g. it is now extinct at both Ashbourne and Yundi (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005; Littlely & Cutten 1994). No quantitative information is available to illustrate the extent of this decline. The extent of occurrence was estimated at 400 km² in a report published in 2000 (Garnett & Crowley 2000). The difference between this and the most recent estimate (see above) could provide some indication of the degree to which the emu-wren has declined. However, comparisons between the two estimates are problematic due to likely differences in the calculation and accuracy of each estimate (see methods of calculation in Garnett & Crowley [2000] and described above).

The extent of occurrence is likely to decrease in future. Studies conducted between 1993 and 2004 indicate that the distribution of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) has continued to contract, and that local extinctions during this period caused a decrease in the area of occupancy (see below) and increased the isolation of some local populations. The extent of occurrence remained unchanged during this period, but this was because the declines occurred at sites that were located away from the limits of the distribution (Pickett, in prep.).

The area of occupancy is estimated at 24.5 km². This estimate, which includes populations established by translocation, was calculated from the number of 0.5 km ( 0.5 km grid squares (corresponding to the 1994 map grid of Australia) that were estimated to be occupied in 2004 (the estimated area of occupancy becomes 51 km² if a 1 km ( 1 km grid is applied). If the translocated populations are excluded, the estimated area of occupancy (as determined from a 0.5 km ( 0.5 km grid) is 21.3 km² (Pickett, in prep.).

The area of occupancy has declined since the arrival of Europeans. The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) no longer occurs at Yundi or Ashbourne, and there have been no recent sightings in the Hindmarsh Valley-Inman Valley-Back Valley area. The emu-wren has also disappeared from some sites near Parawa and Myponga, in the Black Swamp area (near Finniss), and in the Mount Compass-Nankita-Tooperang region (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005; Littlely & Cutten 1994; Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.). Based on data collected from 1993 to 2004, the area of occupancy (if translocated populations are excluded) has declined by approximately 15% in recent years (from 25 km2 in 1993 to 21.25 km² in 2004) (Pickett, in prep.). It is likely that the area of occupancy will continue to decline in future (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

Note: The area of occupancy had previously been estimated at 10 km² (in a report published in 2000). This estimate was based on the number of 1 km grid squares that the species was thought to occur in at the time when its population was most constrained (Garnett & Crowley 2000).

The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) was recorded at 26 sites (a site representing a distinct local population) in 2004 (a 27th site was discovered in 2005) (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.). These sites occur in six broad clusters, each of which is isolated from the others (Pickett, in prep.).

In total, the Southern Emu-wren had been recorded at 54 sites up to September 2005 (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

The habitat of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) became severely fragmented during the 20th century due to the clearing of habitat for agriculture and the degradation of habitat as a result of altered drainage and inappropriate management regimes (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

The remaining habitat that is suitable for the emu-wren occurs mainly in small and isolated fragments (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.) although there are relatively large areas of contiguous habitat in Deep Creek Conservation Park, where the majority of the population occurs (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.). In 1993, adjacent swamps on the Fleurieu Peninsula were separated by an average distance of 1.7 km, and many of these swamps occurred in fragments that were less than 5 ha in area (Littlely & Cutten 1994).

There are no captive populations.

The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) was recently re-introduced to Cox Scrub Conservation Park, a site from which it was wiped out by wildfire in 1983. Forty-six emu-wrens were translocated from Deep Creek Conservation Park to Cox Scrub Conservation Park during 2001-2002 (30 in 2001, 16 in 2002). Population monitoring during the first two breeding seasons indicated that the translocation had been successful (e.g. up to 27 young may have been produced by founding birds and their progeny during the first two seasons after translocation). However, surveys conducted thereafter have shown a decline in population size, e.g. only four pairs were identified during the 2003-2004 breeding season (with evidence of breeding by only two of these) and only five or six pairs during the 2004-2005 breeding season (with evidence of breeding by only three of these) (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

The initial results of surveys that are being conducted during the 2005-2006 breeding season indicate that the Cox Scrub population continues to persist, although the long-term viability of the population is doubtful (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) has been reasonably well surveyed in recent years. Major surveys were conducted during 1993, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004, during which most known or suspected sites were surveyed (see below for details of some surveys). The majority of emu-wren sites were not surveyed during 2005, but another major census is planned for early in 2006. Future surveys are unlikely to discover any large and previously unknown populations, but there are some areas of potential habitat that have not been surveyed or that warrant further surveys to confirm the status (or absence) of local emu-wren populations (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

In 1993, searches were conducted at 86 sites (84 in swamps, two in dry heathland) throughout the former range of the subspecies. Emu-wrens were located at 26 sites; a total of 121 birds were counted, and these were said to be distributed across 18 'subpopulations' (17 of which were located in swamps, and one of which was in dry heathland). Based on the results of the survey, the total population size of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) was estimated at 480 birds (including juveniles) (Littlely & Cutten 1994).

Counts during 1998 recorded a total of 113 adult birds. This figure included 98 birds in 13 subpopulations censused during September 1998, and 15 birds in two additional subpopulations surveyed from February to April 1998. No estimates of population size were calculated from this data (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; Pickett 2000).

The population at Nangkita was monitored between 1996 and 1999. The size of the population decreased from 17 individuals in May 1996 to three individuals (all male) in February 1999 (Pickett 2000).

Population monitoring has also taken place at Cox Scrub Conservation Park following the translocation of 46 birds during 2001-2002. Observations indicated that up to 26 young may have been reared by the founding birds and their progeny during the first two breeding seasons after the translocation. However, only four pairs could be positively identified during the 2003-2004 breeding season, and there was evidence of breeding by only two of these pairs. Surveys were to be repeated annually to monitor the size and health of the translocated population (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005), but the results of these surveys were not available to the author of this profile.

In 2004, emu-wrens were located at 26 sites throughout their range and, based on estimates of population sizes at each of these sites, the total population size of the Southern Emu-wren was estimated at 380-810 birds (Pickett, in prep.).

The total population size of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula), in 2004, was estimated at between 380 and 810 birds (Pickett, in prep.).

The population had previously been estimated at 480 birds, based on survey data collected during 1993 (the estimate was extrapolated from counts of 121 birds in 18 'subpopulations') (Littlely & Cutten 1994).

Garnett and Crowley (2000) also estimated the total population size at 480 breeding birds (evidently based on the findings of Littlely and Cutten [1994]). They considered this estimate to be of medium reliability.

During a survey conducted in 1993, the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) was located at 26 sites. These sites, which were distributed across the Deep Creek, Parawa, Myponga, Mount Compass, Nangkita and Finniss regions, were said to represent 18 separate subpopulations of the emu-wren (Littlely & Cutten 1994). However, the criteria adopted by this study to describe a subpopulation (birds occurring along the same swamp, or that were separated by less than 100 m of cleared land, were designated as a one subpopulation) do not comply with the conventional definition of a subpopulation.

Recent studies of the Southern Emu-wren have abandoned the term subpopulation, and have instead described distinct local or site-specific populations. Based on this methodology, the results of the 1993 survey were revised to 24 local populations (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

During 2004, the emu-wren was recorded in 26 local populations (a 27th population was discovered in 2005). The degree of demographic exchange that occurs between local populations is unknown. However, based on the results of the 2004 survey, it is possible to distinguish six individual clusters of local populations, each of which is clearly isolated from the others. The six clusters are located at Deep Creek Conservation Park, around Glenshara Swamp, in the Mount Compass region (2), at Nangkita, and near Finniss (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.; Pickett, in prep.)

The local populations vary in (estimated) size from one pair up to 50 pairs (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.; Pickett, in prep.). In terms of broader population groups, the majority of the total Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) population is thought to occur in Deep Creek Conservation Park, which may contain up to 72% of the estimated total population of between 380 and 810 birds (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.; Pickett, in prep.; Wilson 2000).

Little quantitative data is available on trends in population sizes. The number of local populations declined from 35 in 1993 to 26 in 2004. Fourteen local populations became extinct during this time, but four were re-established (two naturally, and two by translocation of birds) and another was discovered in 2004 at a site at which the emu-wren had previously been considered absent or extinct, giving a net loss of nine populations. All local populations that became extinct were estimated to consist of less than five pairs (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.; Pickett, in prep.).

Declines were also recorded in several local populations that were still extant in 2004, including populations at Boat Harbour Creek (in Deep Creek Conservation Park), Glenshera Swamp and Cox Scrub Conservation Park (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.; Pickett, in prep.). Forty-six birds were re-introduced to Cox Scrub Conservation Park in 2001-2002. Although initial observations suggested that the translocated birds and their progeny had bred successfully, only four pairs could be positively identified during the 2003-2004 breeding season, and evidence of breeding was obtained for only two of the four pairs (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005).

The 27 local populations that were recorded during 2004-2005 were located on private land (14 populations), in conservation parks (11 populations), in native forest reserves (one population) and unallotted crown land (one population) (M. Pickett December 2005).

The total population size of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) is decreasing (Garnett & Crowley 2000).

Although no estimates of population size were made prior to the early 1990s (e.g. Garnett 1992, South Australian Ornithologists Association 1991), it is generally accepted that there has been a severe decline in numbers during the past century (Garnett 1993; Littlely & Cutten 1994). Since the earliest dated museum records, the subspecies has disappeared from several sites within its known former range (Littlely & Cutten 1994; Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998). This has led to declines in the extent of occurrence (mainly at the northern limits of the range) and the area of occupancy (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; and see above) and, presumably, in population size.

The declines in population size have continued in recent years: twelve local populations have become extinct since 1993, and declines have been recorded in other local populations (e.g. at Boat Harbour Creek, Glenshara Swamp and Cox Scrub Conservation Park) that remain extant (Pickett, in prep.).

Based on the information above, the population size is likely to decrease even further in future (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

There are six populations that are considered important to the long-term survival (and recovery) of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula). These populations occur in:

1. Deep Creek Conservation Park;
2. Lower Black Swamp-Finniss Park Swamp-Reedlands region (near Finniss);
3. Glenshera Swamp Conservation Park;
4. Square Waterhole-Ambersun Alpacas Swamp region (near Mount Compass);
5. Cox Scrub Conservation Park; and
6. Mount Compass-Nangkita region (Pickett, in prep.).

The population that occurs in Deep Creek Conservation Park, and which may contain up to 72% of the total Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) population, is considered to be the most important of these populations (Pickett, in prep.).

The generation length of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) is estimated at one or two years (Garnett & Crowley 2000; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.). Garnett and Crowley (2000) consider an estimate of two years to be of medium reliability (the estimate is based on the life history data of related taxa in a similar environment).

The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) is located in only three reserves: Deep Creek Conservation Park, Cox Scrub Conservation Park, and Glenshera Swamp Conservation Park (which is also known as Stipiturus Conservation Park, and is yet to be formerly gazetted) (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005; Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.). The emu-wren populations in these parks are benefited by some active management practices such as weed and predator control. Explicit consideration of the emu-wren is also being introduced into fire management planning (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

The swamp habitat of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) is said to be severely under-represented in the parks system, e.g. in the mid 1980s, only 4% of Fleurieu Peninsula swampland was conserved (Williams & Goodwins 1987).
There are no published records of cross-breeding between the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) and any other species or subspecies.

The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) is located in only three reserves: Deep Creek Conservation Park, Cox Scrub Conservation Park, and Glenshera Swamp Conservation Park (which is also known as Stipiturus Conservation Park, and is yet to be formerly gazetted) (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005; Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.). The emu-wren populations in these parks are benefited by some active management practices such as weed and predator control. Explicit consideration of the emu-wren is also being introduced into fire management planning (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

The swamp habitat of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) is said to be severely under-represented in the parks system, e.g. in the mid 1980s, only 4% of Fleurieu Peninsula swampland was conserved (Williams & Goodwins 1987).

The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) mainly occurs in two broad habitat types: freshwater swamp (e.g. wet heathland, sedgeland, reedland) and dry heathland (Littlely & Cutten 1994; Pickett 2000; Wilson & Paton 2004). Such habitats are commonly characterised by dense vegetation up to 1 m tall (Littlely & Cutten 1994; Wilson & Paton 2004).

The habitats of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) are commonly characterised by dense vegetation up to 1 m tall (Littlely & Cutten 1994; Pickett, in prep.; Wilson & Paton 2004). Some habitats have an additional shrub layer and/or emergent shrubs; any tree canopies present are usually low (less than 10 m in height) (Pickett, in prep.).

The swamp habitats of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) are located along low-lying creeks and flats, in gullies, or on hillsides. They often occur above a layer of peat, or above a combined layer of peat and silt (Littlely & Cutten 1994). The swamps are densely vegetated, and are dominated by species such as Prickly Tea-tree Leptospermum continentale, Silky Tea-tree L. lanigerum, Red-fruit Saw-sedge Gahnia sieberiana, Cutting Grass Gahnia trifida, Golden Spray Viminaria juncea, Common Reed Phragmites australis, Climbing Scale-rush Empodisma minus, Bulrush Typha domingensis, other rushes (e.g. Juncus, Baumea), sedges (e.g. Carex, Lepidosperma), and ferns (e.g. Coral Fern Gleichenia microphylla, Soft Water-fern Blechnium minus) (Littlely & Cutten 1994; Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; Pickett 2000; Wilson & Paton 2004).

The dry heathland habitats of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) can take two forms:

1. basic heathland, dominated by species including Slaty Sheoak Allocasuarina muelleriana, Small Bulloak A. striata, Beaked Hakea Hakea rostrata, Mount Lofty Bush-pea Pultenaea involucrata, Thyme-leaved Spyridium Spryridium thymifolium and Yacca Xanthorrhoea semiplana; and

2. low open forest with a heath understorey (comprised of species such as Heathy Phyllota Phyllota pleurandroides, bush-peas, hakeas, Holly Flat-pea Platylobium obtusangulum, guinea-flowers Hibbertia, Heath Tea-tree Leptospermum myrsinoides and Yacca) and a ground layer of sedges (e.g. Lepidosperma, Curled Saw-sedge G. ancistrophylla, Tassel Rope-rush Hypolaena fastigiata), and a canopy that is dominated by species such as Messmate Stringybark Eucalyptus obliqua and Brown Stringybark E. baxteri (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; Pickett 2000; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

Other species that commonly occur in dry heathland habitats include Wiry Spear-grass Austrostipa muelleri, Silver Banksia Banksia marginata, Orange Bell-climber Billardiera bignoniacea, Slender Dodder-laurel Cassytha glabella, Common Heath Epacris impressa and Horny Cone-bush Isopogon ceratophyllus (Wilson & Paton 2004).

The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) is occasionally recorded on open floodplains with samphire, Lignum Muehlenbeckia florulenta and Cutting Grass (e.g. at Finniss) (Littlely & Cutten 1994; Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998).
The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) may make use of aberrant habitats in the event of fire, e.g. emu-wrens utilised degraded grassy sedgeland/pasture as a post-fire refuge at Mount Compass in 2003 (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).
Most local populations of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) occur in swamps on the Fleurieu Peninsula. These swamps, which are crucial to the survival of the emu-wren (see above), are listed as a Critically Endangered Ecological Community under the EPBC Act 1999.

The Southern Emu-wren is not known to associate with any other listed threatened species.

Emu-wrens are capable of breeding in their first year, e.g. one female laid at approximately 7-8 months old (Pickett 2000; Pickett, in prep.).

No reliable information is available on the life expectancy, although the oldest Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) that has been recorded was at least 4.5 years old when it was last seen (Pickett, in prep.).

The annual survival rate of adult birds is low (50% or less). The proportion of juveniles that survive to independence (i.e. that are recruited into the adult population) is reasonably high (e.g. the average recruitment rate across three sites was 57%). However, very few juveniles (10% or less) are recruited into the breeding population (i.e. very few juveniles participate in breeding activity) (Pickett 2000; Pickett, in prep.).
The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) breeds from late winter to early autumn. The season extends from early August to late March, although most hatching takes place from September to December (Pickett, in prep.). The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) breeds in solitary and (socially) monogamous pairs (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; Pickett 2000; Pickett, in prep.). Co-operative breeding (in which helpers assist the breeding pair) and extra-pair paternity have been observed in other subspecies of the Southern Emu-wren (Maguire & Mulder 2004), but have not been recorded in the Fleurieu Peninsula subspecies (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

Nests are built close to ground in low (i.e. less than 2 m tall), dense vegetation, e.g. Juncus, Baumea, Leptospermum, Empodisma minus (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005; McGilp 1921; Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; Pickett 2000; Pickett, in prep.; Ragless 1957). Nesting sites are comprised mainly of dense rushes and sedges (e.g. Juncus, Baumea, Lepidosperma), with some dense shrubs (e.g. Leptospermum) or ferns (e.g. Coral Fern Gleichenia microphylla), or occasionally Blackberry Rubus ulmifolius (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; Pickett 2000).

The nest is domed and somewhat oval in shape, with a large side entrance (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005; McGilp 1921; Pickett 2000; Pickett, in prep.). It is comprised of grasses or grass-like foliage and some spider web, and is lined with feathers (McGilp 1921; Pickett 2000; Pickett, in prep.).

Most clutches consist of three eggs (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005; Pickett, in prep.), which are incubated largely or solely by the female (Pickett 2000). The young fledge (depart the nest) at approximately 8-10 days of age (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005), and are dependent on the adults until approximately 2-5 months old (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005; Pickett 2000). Pairs usually produce one brood (or sometimes two broods) per season. Three broods have been recorded, but these are very rare (Pickett 2000; Pickett, in prep.). Each successful brood may consist of up to three young (Pickett, in prep.).

The breeding success of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) has been reasonably well studied. Based on the apparent number of clutches laid at Nangkita from 1994 to 1999 (n=18), 1.7 juveniles were fledged per clutch, and 1.1 juveniles per clutch reached independence. The mean number of juveniles fledged per breeding female during a season was 2.5, and the mean number of juveniles reaching indepence per breeding female was 1.7. Of the 30 young fledged at Nangkita from 1994 to 1999, 20 (67%) reached independence and were recruited to the adult population, and 30% (45% of recruits) were present in the population at the beginning of the following breeding season (Pickett 2000). The figures for breeding success quoted above have been revised following subsequent studies. When information from these new studies is included, the recorded productivity of the emu-wren is 1.94 juveniles fledged per clutch (or 1.94 juveniles fledged per breeding female per breeding season) (Pickett, in prep.).

At the species level, the nest of the Southern Emu-wren is usually built by the female (Fletcher 1913; Higgins et al. 2001; Maguire & Mulder 2004). Clutches consist of three (or sometimes two or four) eggs (Fletcher 1915; Higgins et al. 2001; Maguire & Mulder 2004; Storr 1985) that are white or creamy white in colour, with a few spots and flecks of reddish-brown around the broader end (Higgins et al. 2001; Rowley & Russell 1997; Schodde 1982). Eggs are laid in the morning, at daily intervals (Fletcher 1913, 1915; Maguire & Mulder 2004). Incubation is by the female only (Fletcher 1913; Higgins et al. 2001; Maguire & Mulder 2004). The eggs are incubated for 10-21 days (Fletcher 1915; Higgins et al. 2001; Hutton 1991; Maguire & Mulder 2004).

The nestlings are brooded by the female and are fed by both parents (and male helpers, if helpers are present) (Fletcher 1913, 1915; Higgins et al. 2001; Maguire & Mulder 2004). The nestlings fledge (i.e. depart the nest) at 8-18 days old (Fletcher 1915, 1918; Higgins et al. 2001; Maguire & Mulder 2004).

Juveniles are independent by approximately two months of age (Fletcher 1915; Maguire & Mulder 2004). Once independent, juveniles from first broods usually disperse, and the female re-nests. Juveniles from second broods generally remain with the parents throughout the non-breeding period, and then disperse prior to the commencement of the next breeding season (Fletcher 1915).

Broods are parasitized by Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoos Chrysococcyx basalis, Shining Bronze-Cuckoos C. lucidus, Pallid Cuckoos Cuculus pallidus, Brush Cuckoos Cacomantis variolosus and Fan-tailed Cuckoos C. flabelliformis (Higgins et al. 2001; Maguire & Mulder 2004).

The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) nests close to the ground. Nests may therefore be accessible (and potentially vulnerable) to terrestrial predators (e.g. rats, cats, snakes). The proximity of nests to the ground could also make them susceptible to trampling by livestock (e.g. cattle) (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

Inbreeding can occur among closely-related individuals in small populations of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula). Inbreeding may be a threat to small subpopulations of the emu-wren, but the effects of inbreeding are thus far unknown (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; Pickett 2000; Pickett, in prep.).

The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) feeds almost entirely, if not solely, upon insects. Insects recorded in the diet include seed or chinch bugs (Hemiptera: Lyagaeidae, including Nysius), psyllids (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), katydids (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) and beetles (Coleoptera), including weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Other items recorded in the diet include eggs of katydids (and possibly of other insects or spiders), and cocoons of wasps (Hymenoptera) (Lea & Gray 1935).

At the species level, the Southern Emu-wren has also been recorded feeding on flies (Diptera), ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), caterpillars (Lepidoptera larvae), mantids (Mantodea) and spiders, and also some vegetable matter, including seeds (Barker & Vestjens, undated; Cleland et al. 1918; Fletcher 1915; Lea & Gray 1935; McKeown 1944; Rose 1999).
No information is available on the foraging behaviour of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula).

At the species level, Southern Emu-wrens forage on or close to ground amongst dense vegetation. They forage actively, hopping through the vegetation and taking food from reeds and from foliage, twigs and other surfaces of shrubs. They also capture insects in flight, and split open reed stems to obtain insects. When foraging in shrubs, they usually work their way up and around the shrub from bottom to top, before dropping down to the base of the next shrub and beginning again. They are said to spend more time foraging in shrubs than on ground (Fletcher 1913, 1915; Rowley & Russell 1997; Schodde 1982).

Very little information is available on the movements of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula). There is thought to be little movement of birds between patches of habitat, especially when patches are separated by cleared land (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; Wilson & Paton 2004). However, observations suggest that some birds may move between patches if patches are close together and are linked by essentially contiguous dense vegetation, such as swamp or thickets of blackberry. The longest movements that have been recorded were of three birds at Nangkita that each moved approximately 2.5 km from one patch of habitat to another (Pickett 2000), and of one individual that dispersed 1.8 km from its translocation site in Cox Scrub Conservation Park (Pickett, in prep.). The appearance of two unbanded birds into a marked population at Nangkita indicates that a small number of birds may move between subpopulations, but this requires confirmation (Pickett 2000).

Movements are also poorly known at the species level (Rowley & Russell 1997). The Southern Emu-wren is described as either resident or sedentary. Established pairs are said to maintain the same territory year after year (Higgins et al. 2001), but studies of the Fleurieu Peninsula subspecies indicate that pairs often fail to occupy the same territory in consecutive seasons (Pickett, in prep.). At some sites, groups are said to wander during the non-breeding season, when birds may be observed in modified or artificial habitats such as thickets of blackberry, clearings, paddocks and gardens. The extent of such movement is unknown, but it possibly accounts for reported seasonal changes in density, numbers and reporting indices, although seasonal changes in the conspicuousness of the species could also account for such changes. On the basis of seasonal fluctuations in the number of birds sighted, it has been suggested that a peak in birds sighted in early spring results from birds being more obvious and vocal as they establish territories early in the breeding season (Higgins et al. 2001).

The Southern Emu-wren is also capable of colonizing or re-colonizing ephemeral habitats, e.g. regrowth in logged areas, or vegetation regenerating after fire (Higgins et al. 2001). This ability is potentially important for the conservation of the endangered subspecies, as it provides an opportunity for birds to be re-introduced to former sites (Birds Australia November 2005, pers. comm.).

The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) occupies territories during the breeding season (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; Pickett, in prep.). Breeding territories generally encompass about one hectare of land in good quality habitat (Pickett, in prep.), but they can vary in size from less than half a hectare up to several hectares (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998). Established pairs may remain in their territories throughout the year (Pickett, in prep.), but some territories may be abandoned during the non-breeding season when the emu-wrens move more widely throughout their habitat (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998).

Pairs exhibit a strong fidelity to their territories during the breeding season. However, territories are rarely re-occupied by the same pair (i.e. the same two birds) in consecutive seasons. The lack of fidelity to territories between breeding seasons may be due to the death of at least one member of a pair in the non-breeding period, e.g. pairs that persisted for two consecutive seasons occupied essentially the same territory in both breeding seasons, and in the non-breeding period between each season (Pickett, in prep.).

Home ranges and territories appear to be largely equivalent in the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula). The frequent use of song (issued primarily by the male) throughout the home range, especially between neighbouring birds at sites where home ranges met or overlapped, and in response to bird calls, suggests that the home range effectively represents a territory that is defended from conspecifics by song (Pickett, in prep.).

Studies at several sites have shown that the average home range size for a breeding pair is 0.89 ha, and that the average home range size for each individual member of a breeding pair is 0.74 ha (Pickett, in prep.). The size of individual home ranges can vary somewhat. For example, at Nangkita the home ranges of individual emu-wrens during the breeding season varied in size from 0.34 ha to 2.61 ha, and the home ranges of individual emu-wrens during the non-breeding period varied in size from 0.31 ha to 6.53 ha (Pickett 2000). During the breeding season, the home ranges of each individual member of a breeding pair show a high degree of overlap (in some pairs, the home ranges of the male and female overlap completely) (Pickett 2000; Pickett, in prep.). However, there is little overlap (approximately 10%) between the home ranges of neighbouring, breeding pairs (Pickett, in prep.).

The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) can be detected by sight or call. Initial detection is usually by call, although calls are described as feeble and are said to require good hearing to be detected. Detection by sight can also be challenging as the subspecies is shy and secretive, and can be difficult to flush from cover (Magrath et al. 2004).

Within its range, the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) is unlikely to be mistaken for any other species (Higgins et al. 2001; Magrath et al. 2004).

The decline of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) has mainly been due to the clearance, degradation and fragmentation of both swamp and dry heathland habitat (Littlely & Cutten 1994; Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.). Large areas of native habitat on the Fleurieu Peninsula and in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges have been cleared for primary production (e.g. grazing, dairying, forestry, horticulture), and many natural drainage systems have been modified via the construction of dams for water storage or the installment of drains to divert water away from potentially productive sites. The degradation of remaining habitat by slashing, burning, draining and heavy grazing has further reduced the amount of suitable habitat available (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998). Results of a detailed habitat survey indicate that, by 1993, the area of swampland on the Fleurieu Peninsula had been reduced from approximately 2094 ha to 1567 ha (75% of the original area). Of the swampland that remained in 1993, 545 ha (26% of the original area) was considered to be in good condition, and the remaining 1022 ha (49% of the original area) was considered to be degraded. Furthermore, although the size of the surviving swamps varied, most (75%) were less than 5 ha (Littlely & Cutten 1994).

Ongoing threats to the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) include:

  • Habitat alteration: The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) is threatened, or potentially threatened, by a variety of land use or land management processes that could have deleterious effects on the emu-wren's habitat. These processes include clearance of native vegetation, inappropriate burning regimes, grazing of livestock, diversion or extraction of water, drainage of swamps, mining (e.g. sand mining could affect occupied swamps by reducing the supply of groundwater or water quality), plantation forestry (e.g. plantations in the vicinity of occupied swamps could reduce the supply of ground water or cause pollution of the swamps), residential development, and the invasion of habitats by introduced weeds (e.g. blackberry, gorse) (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).
  • The potential impacts of these processes varies: the grazing of livestock in swamps is considered to be the most serious, given that it is a common practice and has direct effects on habitat quality, but other threats that effect the quantity of water in swamps (e.g. diversion of water for agriculture or storage, drainage of swamps, mining, plantation forestry) could also have major impacts on the emu-wren's habitat (M. Pickett 2005, pers. comm.).

    In addition to the processes listed above, the emu-wren may also be threatened by other processes that effect its habitat, including the natural succession of native vegetation (e.g. habitats with old-growth vegetation are unsuitable for the emu-wren), the dieback of vegetation due to fungal infection by Phytophthora, and the leaching of herbicides and pesticides (or run-off from fertilizers or livestock effluent) into swamp systems (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; M. Pickett 2005, pers. comm.).

  • Wildfire: Wildfire has been responsible for local extinctions in the past (at Cox Scrub Conservation Park in 1983, and at Toadspring Swamp, near Mount Compass, in 1997), and is a major threat to the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) today, as all populations and habitats are potentially at risk. This includes the largest remaining population of the emu-wren, at Deep Creek Conservation Park, which occurs in an environment that is highly susceptible to wildfire, and which could potentially be wiped out by a single unchecked fire event. Furthermore, isolated fragments of suitable habitat are unlikely to be recolonised if existing emu-wren populations are wiped out by wildfire (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

  • Other natural, catastrophic events: The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) is also threatened by other natural, catastrophic events such as drought, flood or storm (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.). Floods and storms are believed to be minor threats to the emu-wren, but drought may be a major threat to populations in swamps, particularly if the effects of drought are exacerbated by climate change (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

  • Population size and fragmentation: The Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) is mainly found in small local populations, and these mostly inhabit small and isolated fragments of habitat. The small and isolated nature of these populations increases the risk of extinction due to catastrophic events (e.g. wildfire) and inbreeding depression. It also means that random variation in the population demographics (e.g. survival rates, reproductive success) or in the genetic structure of a small population (due to genetic drift) could have a significant impact on the survival of that population (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; Pickett 2000; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

  • Predators and parasites: Introduced predators (e.g. cats, foxes, rats), native predators (e.g. snakes, raptors) and native parasites (e.g. cuckoos) are considered to be minor threats to the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula). However, the impact of these species upon the emu-wren is largely unknown, and may potentially be greater (at least in some small populations) than what is currently assumed (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

The long-term survival of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) is primarily dependent on the maintenance and rehabilitation or re-establishment of the emu-wren's habitat (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).

The following recovery actions have been completed or are ongoing (Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team 1998; M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.):

  • Monitoring of all known populations. This includes documentation of the numbers and locations of emu-wrens, documentation of the size and condition of emu-wren habitats, monitoring of population demographics (e.g. breeding success, recruitment, dispersal, mortality), and biennial census of the emu-wren population.
  • Interaction with stakeholders to promote awareness of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) and its status. This has involved a promotional campaign (e.g. presentations, media coverage, establishment of a newsletter, Stipiturus, and website (emuwren.ccsa.asn.au(), liaison with landholders to improve the quality of some habitats, liaison with local and state governments to promote the inclusion of the emu-wren in planning considerations, the recognition of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) in various management plans, and the provision of advice and technical information to all stakeholders.
  • Conservation and management of emu-wren habitat. This has involved the establishment of management guidelines (Duffield & Hill 2002) and revegetation strategies (Duffield 2001) for emu-wren habitat, the rehabilitation of existing and potential habitat (including corridors linking habitats), the dedication of Glenshera Swamp Conservation Park, and the listing of the Fleurieu Peninsula swamps as a Threatened Ecological Community under the EPBC Act 1999.
  • Studies on the biology, habitat and ecology of the subspecies. These have included a Population Viability Analysis (Littlely & Cutten 1996), long-term banding and monitoring programs (Pickett 2000; Pickett, in prep.), studies on habitat use (Wilson 2000; Wilson & Paton 2004), a biological survey of the Fleurieu Peninsula swamps (Littlely 1998), manipulative experiments to assess the effects of land management practices, the monitoring of habitats affected by wildfire, and trial translocations of swamp plants (with an aim to re-establish swamp habitat).
  • Studies on the genetics of the subspecies: although preliminary results indicated that northern populations (Nangkita, Mount Compass) and southern subpopulations (Parawa, Deep Creek) were somewhat distinct, mitochondrial DNA analysis has shown that there are no fixed differences between the (now) geographically separate northern and southern populations.
  • Translocation of birds into Cox Scrub Conservation Park.

The details of proposed future actions will feature in a new recovery plan, which is currently being prepared (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005).

The current recovery program for the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula) is managed by the Conservation Council of South Australia, in partnership with the South Australian Department of Environment and Heritage, and is funded by the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management Group and the Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management Group (M. Pickett December 2005, pers. comm.).


The Conservation Council of South Australia Incorporated received $6390 of funding through the Threatened Species Network Community Grants in 2001-02, part of which was for the identification of declining species of birds (including Southern emu-wren), critical habitat and significant impacts, gaps in management knowledge, and recommendation of priorities for better management.

The Conservation Council of South Australia Incorporated received $4820 of funding through the Threatened Species Network Community Grants in 2000-01 for the hosting of a Swamp Awareness Day to bring together groups with an interest in swamp conservation on Fleurieu Peninsula and raise awareness of threats to this species and its habitat.

In 2008, The Conservation Council of South Australia Incorporated received $261,932 of funding through the Caring for our Country Grants Program for priority onground works to protect the Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren and the critically endangered Fleurieu Peninsula Swamps.

There have been few detailed studies of the Southern Emu-wren (Fleurieu Peninsula). Studies have been conducted by Pickett (2000, in prep), Wilson (2000 and Wilson and Paton (2004).

Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (1998). Recovery Plan for the Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003. Report to the Threatened Species and Communities Section, Environment Australia. Conservation Council of South Australia, Adelaide.

Pickett, M. (2001). Translocation Proposal for the Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius: Reintroduction to Cox Scrub Conservation Park 2001-2004. Unpublished document prepared for the Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Program.

A new recovery plan is currently being prepared (Conservation Council of South Australia 2005).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Fertiliser application Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000 (Garnett, S.T. & G.M. Crowley, 2000) [Cwlth Action Plan].
Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Land clearance (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2001w) [Listing Advice].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Biological Resource Use:Logging and Wood Harvesting:Habitat disturbance due to foresty activities Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate change altering atmosphere/hydrosphere temperatures, rainfall patterns and/or frequency of severe weather events Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Loss and/or fragmentation of habitat and/or subpopulations Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat destruction, disturbance and/or modification due to mining activities Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:inappropriate conservation measures Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox, Fox) Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Felis catus (Cat, House Cat, Domestic Cat) Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Rattus rattus (Black Rat, Ship Rat) Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Canis lupus familiaris (Domestic Dog) Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Predation, competition, habitat degradation and/or spread of pathogens by introduced species Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition and/or predation by birds Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition, grazing, predation and/or habitat degradation by mammals Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Predation by reptiles Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Psittacine Circoviral Disease Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Activities that lead to swamp degradation Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Alteration of hydrological regimes and water quality Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Changes in hydrology including habitat drainage Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Changes to hydrology including construction of dams/barriers Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate prescribed regimes and/or vegetation management to control fire regimes Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species & Ecological Communities of Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges 2009-2014 (Willson, A. & J. Bignall, 2009a) [State Recovery Plan].
Protected status:Protected status:Lack of secure conservation land tenure Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Recovery Plan for the Mt Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-Wren Stipiturus malachurus intermedius 1999 - 2003 (Mt Lofty Southern Emu-wren Recovery Team (MLSERT), 1998) [Recovery Plan].

Ashby, E.L. (1920). Birds of the Mt Compass district, South Australia. Emu. 19:299-303.

Barker, R.D. & W.J.M. Vestjens (1990). The Food of Australian Birds. 2. Passerines. Melbourne, Victoria: CSIRO.

Birds Australia (2005b). Personal communication, November 2005.

Cleland, J.B., J.H. Maiden, W.W Frogatt, E.W. Ferguson & C.T. Musson (1918). The food of Australian birds. Scientific Bulletin of Department of Agriculture, NSW. 15:1--112.

Conservation Council of South Australia (2005). Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Fact File. [Online]. Available from: http://www.ccsa.asn.au.

Donnellan, S.C., J. Armstrong, M. Pickett, T. Milne, J. Baulderstone, T. Hollfelder & T. Bertozzi (2009). Systematic and conservation implications of mitochondrial DNA diversity in emu-wren, Stipiturus (Aves : Maluridae). Emu. 109:143-152.

Duffield, R. (2001). Revegetation for the Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren and Fleurieu Peninsula Swamps. Unpublished report prepared for the Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren Recovery Program.

Duffield, R. & B. Hill (2002). Swamp Management Guidelines for the Fleurieu Peninsula. Adelaide: Conservation Council of South Australia.

Fletcher, J.A. (1913a). Field notes on the emu-wren (Stipiturus malachurus). Emu. 12:168-170.

Fletcher, J.A. (1915). Further field notes on the emu-wren (Stipiturus malachurus). Emu. 14:213-217.

Fletcher, J.A. (1918). Bird notes from the Boat Harbour (Tasmania) district. Emu. 18:96-101.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Stipiturus malachurus intermedius in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Wed, 17 Sep 2014 10:11:10 +1000.