Carpentarian Grasswren  |  

Amytornis dorotheae

Status: Endangered on the EPBC Act list

The Carpentarian grasswren is a medium-sized grasswren with a moderately long tapered tail.
The species reaches a length of 16 – 17.5 cm and weighs 21 – 25 g. Adult
plumage is rich rufous-brown above transitioning to blackish on the top and sides of the head
with bold white streaks on the cap, neck and saddle, the underside of the body is white in upper
areas changing to yellow-brown (males) or rich red-brown (females) in lower areas and flanks. Both sexes also have a slim orange-brown eyebrow and black whisker
mark extending from the bill to the edge of the breast. Juveniles are less
boldly streaked, duller in colouration and have a paler beak.
Carpentarian grasswrens are similar in appearance to white-throated grasswrens
(Amytornis woodwardi), however Carpentarian grasswrens are notable smaller and slimmer.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Amytornis dorotheae

    Threats The primary threat to Carpentarian grasswrens is increased fire frequency and intensity (Garnett et al.; 2011 Murphy et al.; 2011); as this causes changes to the vegetation communities in their sandstone habitats (Higgins et al.; 2001).
    Inappropriate fire regimes are currently threatening the remaining subpopulations (Garnett et al.; 2011 Harrington Murphy 2015).
    Cat predation is likely to increase in post fire landscapes as vegetation cover is reduced; and birds are forced to move through much more open landscapes and exist in small; suboptimal habitat patches (McGregor et al.; 2015 Leahy et al.; 2016).
    Inappropriate fire regimes are likely to continue to impact the species in the future as the species distribution becomes increasingly fragmented and individuals are forced to occupy smaller; isolated patches of unburnt habitat (Harrington Murphy 2015).
    Ongoing declines in extent of occurrence; area of occupancy; quality of habitat and number of mature individuals are also inferred as remaining isolated subpopulations appear to be restricted to isolated fire refugia and at increased risk from potential future fire events (Harrington Murphy 2015).
    Monitor fire patterns from across the species distribution and model impacts on the availability of suitable habitat.