Coxen's Fig-parrot Cyclopsitta diophthalma coxeni Recovery Plan 2001-2005

Coxen's Fig-Parrot Recovery Team
© The State of Queensland, Environmental Protection Agency, 2001

3. Distribution

3.1 Current and historical distribution

Coxen's fig-parrot is currently only known in the wild from approximately 90 reliable records in Queensland since 1970 and about 30 such sightings in New South Wales over the same period (Martindale 1986, Holmes 1990, 1995, Gynther 1996a,b, Horton 1996, Gynther et al. 1998, and I. Gynther pers. comm.). Figures 1 and 2 depict selected sighting localities in the two states.

The historical distribution of Coxen's fig-parrot is blurred. The accepted core range is from Gympie in south-east Queensland to the Richmond River in north-east New South Wales and as far west as the Bunya Mountains and the Koreelah Range (Holmes 1990, Garnett 1992). This range may have extended to Maryborough in the north and the Macleay River in the south (Forshaw 1981, 1989, Blakers et al. 1984), although these limits are based on published records (De Warren 1928, Kinghorn 1936) that are not universally accepted.

A BIOCLIM analysis of documented locations of Coxen's fig-parrot yielded a potential distribution from the Boyne River near Gladstone (24o00'S) south to the Williams River (32o20'S) near Barrington Tops (Holmes 1990). This lends support to recent (or recently acquired) credible but largely unsubstantiated records from as far north as the Rockhampton district, Granite Creek State Forest and Deepwater National Park in Queensland and as far south as the Hastings River catchment in New South Wales (Holmes 1995, Gynther et al. 1998, I. Gynther pers. comm). It also suggests that previously discounted records from the Mann and Macleay Rivers of New South Wales (Holmes 1990) warrant further investigation.

Coxen's fig-parrot was once thought to have suffered a relatively recent range reduction (Martindale 1986). However, the number and geographic spread of recent records now indicate it may be thinly but widely distributed or in small subpopulations throughout a much broader range than was recognised historically. The most recent reliable records from Queensland are: Deepwater National Park (May 1997), Moore Park (February 1997 - March 1998), Burnett Heads (February 1998), East Bundaberg (November/December 1997), Gin Gin (April 1997 - February 2001), Farnsfield (1997), Childers (September 1997), Kin Kin (July 1999 - November 2000), Upper Pinbarren Creek (January - March 2001), Eumundi (1997 - 1998), Mt Borumba (May 1997), Kenilworth (October 1997), the Maleny area (December 1997 - February 2001), Main Range National Park (September and October 1997) and Lamington National Park in January and November 1998 (Gynther et al. 1998, I. Gynther pers. comm.).

In New South Wales, recent credible records exist from Uki (November 1999), Mebbin State Forest (January-February 1995), Whian Whian State Forest (January-February 1995 and August 1996 - December 1998), Eltham (April 1995), Richmond Range National Park (November 1995) and from 1996-1998 in the Hastings River area (CSIRO 1996, Horton 1996, D. Charley pers. comm., J. Young pers. comm.).

Figure 1. Selected records of Coxen's fig-parrot in Queensland since 1990.
Figure 1. Selected records of Coxen's fig-parrot in Queensland since 1990.
Note: Source information from Holmes (1994a, 1995), Gynther et al. (1998), I. Gynther (pers. comm.)
Figure 2. Selected records of Coxen's Fig-Parrot in New South Wales.
Figure 2. Selected records of Coxen's Fig-Parrot in New South Wales.

Nest site surveys (Gynther 1996a, Gynther and O'Reilly 1998, Gynther et al. 1998) have detected evidence of current or past Coxen's fig-parrot breeding activity in the form of completed or partially excavated nest holes at eight localities. In Queensland, nesting signs were discovered in Kenilworth State Forest, Lamington National Park and Main Range National Park (all August 1996) and in Conondale National Park (October 1998). In New South Wales, breeding evidence was found in Mebbin State Forest, Tooloom National Park and the Tyalgum area in August 1996 and in Toonumbar National Park in September 1997. Signs of recent (post-1995) nesting activity were present at four sites. In Lamington National Park, nest excavations were probably made less than a week prior to their discovery in 1996, although the site was not subsequently used. To date, no active nest has been found.

The suspected range of Coxen's fig-parrot in Queensland includes the following local government areas (LGAs):

Beaudesert Shire, Biggenden Shire, Boonah Shire, Brisbane City, Bundaberg City, Burnett Shire, Caboolture Shire, Calliope Shire, Caloundra City, Cambooya Shire, Clifton Shire, Cooloola Shire, Crows Nest Shire, Esk Shire, Gatton Shire, Gold Coast City, Hervey Bay City, Ipswich City, Isis Shire, Kilcoy Shire, Kilkivan Shire, Kingaroy Shire, Kolan Shire, Laidley Shire, Maroochy Shire, Maryborough City, Miriam Vale Shire, Nanango Shire, Noosa Shire, Perry Shire, Pine Rivers Shire, Rosalie Shire, Tiaro Shire, Toowoomba City, Wambo Shire, Warwick Shire, Woocoo Shire.

The suspected range of the subspecies in New South Wales includes the following LGAs:

Ballina Shire, Bellingen Shire, Byron Shire, Camden Haven Shire, Casino Shire, Coffs Harbour City, Copmanhurst Shire, Dumaresq Shire, Grafton City, Guyra Shire, Hastings Shire, Kempsey Shire, Kyogle Shire, Lismore City, Maclean Shire, Nambucca Shire, Nymboida Shire, Richmond River Shire, Severn Shire, Tenterfield Shire, Tweed Shire, Ulmarra Shire, Walcha Shire.

3.2 Tenure

In New South Wales, most Coxen's fig-parrot records and large habitat areas are on public lands (national parks and state forests). This is also the situation in Queensland, although many sightings from the Gympie area northwards are on freehold land.

Coxen's fig-parrot has been recorded from the following conservation reserves:
New South Wales
National Parks: National Parks:
Bunya Mountains National Park Border Ranges National Park
Burrum Coast National Park Nightcap National Park
Conondale National Park Richmond Range National Park
Deepwater National Park Tooloom National Park
Great Sandy National Park Toonumbar National Park
Lamington National Park  
Main Range National Park Nature Reserves:
Mapleton Falls National Park Boatharbour Nature Reserve
Mount Pinbarren National Park Booyong Nature Reserve