The plains-wanderer is a small, quail-like bird that, when fully grown, measures 15-19 cm in length, has a wing-span of 28-36 cm, and has a mass of 40-80 g in males and 55-95 g in females. In adult plumage, the sexes differ in appearance. The females are distinguishable by their rufous breastband and white-spotted black collar, while males are plainer in plumage with light brown colouration above, covered in brown rosettes, and fawn to white colouration below, covered in blackish crescents. Both sexes have a cream-coloured iris, a cream to pale yellow bill and cream to pale yellow legs and feet, though females are again more brightly coloured. Juveniles Pedionomus torquatus (plains-wanderer) Conservation Advice Page 2 of 9 are similar in appearance to adult males, but can be distinguished by the dark-brown spots on the breast, flanks and under-tail coverts.
Status: Critically Endangered on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Pedionomus torquatus
Other potential threats to plains wanderers include a lack of appropriate burning regimes (NTAG; 2010); planting trees in or near native grasslands (Baker Gabb; 2014); wildfires (OEH; 2015); habitat disturbance by rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) (OEH; 2012); quail hunting; reduced food availability and climate change.