Cinclosoma punctatum anachoreta (Spotted Quail - thrush (Mt Lofty Ranges))

Advice to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage from the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) on Amendments to the list of Threatened Species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)

1. Scientific name, common name (where appropriate), major taxon group

Cinclosoma punctatum anachoreta (Spotted Quail-thrush (Mt Lofty Ranges))

2. National Context

The past range of Spotted Quail-thrush (Mt Lofty Ranges) was Mt Lofty Ranges, SA, as far north as Angaston, and at least as far south as Mt Compass. There have been no published records of Spotted Quail-thrush (Mt Lofty Ranges) since 1984. It is not listed under the EPBC Act or South Australian legislation.

3. How judged by TSSC in relation to the EPBC Act criteria.

TSSC judges the species to be eligible for listing as critically endangered under the EPBC Act. The justification against the criteria is as follows:

Criterion 1 - Decline in numbers

There have been no published records of the Spotted Quail-thrush (Mt Lofty Ranges) since 1984, and it has not been recorded in the current Atlas of Australian Birds project which has been running since 1998. It was not recorded in the Bird Atlas of the Adelaide Region, 1972-1976, and there was one breeding record 1977-1981. If it persists, then it is probably restricted to a single small location with a continuing decline in extent of occurrance, area of occupancy, number of locations and number of mature individuals as the area where it occurs has been subject to large-scale habitat clearance. Severe fires in 1983 in the area would have further reduced the population. Fragmentation of forest patches would have prevented recolonization after local extinctions. Close human settlement is also likely to have caused degradation of habitat and increased predation by cats and disturbance by dogs and people. If Spotted Quail-thrush (Mt Lofty Ranges) persists, the total number of mature individuals (breeding birds) is estimated to be 10. However, the rate of decline has not been quantified.

Therefore, the species is not eligible for listing under this criterion.

Criterion 2 - Geographic distribution

Spotted Quail-thrush (Mt Lofty Ranges) is known only from one location in South Australia, has an estimated extent of occurrence of 10km2 and area of occupancy is estimated to be 1km2. If it persists, the extent of occurrence, area of occupancy and number of breeding birds are likely to be declining, as the Mount Lofty Ranges have undergone extensive clearing and habitat fragmentation.

Therefore, the species is eligible for listing as critically endangered under this criterion.

Criterion 3 - Population size and decline in numbers or distribution

Spotted Quail-thrush (Mt Lofty Ranges) is only known from one location. There have been no published records since 1984, and it has not been recorded in the current Atlas of Australian Birds project which has been running since 1998. If it persists, the number of mature individuals (breeding birds) is estimated to be 10 and declining. The estimated total number of mature individuals is low and in conjunction with likely decline, its geographic distribution is precarious for its survival.

Therefore, the species is eligible for listing as critically endangered under this criterion.

Criterion 4 - Population size

There have been no published records since 1984, and it has not been recorded in the current Atlas of Australian Birds project which has been running since 1998. If Spotted Quail-thrush (Mt Lofty Ranges) perists, the number of mature individuals (breeding birds) is estimated to be 10 and declining.

Therefore, the species is eligible for listing as critically endangered under this criterion.

Criterion 5 - Probability of extinction in the wild

There is no quantitative data available against this criterion.

4. Conclusion

Based on information contained in the Action Plan for Australian Birds, there have been no published records of Spotted Quail-thrush (Mt Lofty Ranges) since 1984. It is only known from one location, with an extent of occurrence of 10km2 and area of occupancy is estimated to be 1km2 . If it persists the extent of occurrence, area of occupancy and number of breeding birds (estimated to be 10) are likely to be declining, as the Mount Lofty Ranges have undergone extensive clearing and habitat fragmentation. The species is eligible for listing as critically endangered under criteria 2, 3 and 4.

5. Recommendation

TSSC recommends that the list referred to in section 178 of the EPBC Act be amended by
including in the list in the critically endangered category:

Cinclosoma punctatum anachoreta Spotted Quail-thrush (Mt Lofty Ranges)