The Australian Painted Snipe is a stocky wading bird around 220–250 mm in length with a long pinkish bill. The adult female, more colourful than the male, has a chestnut-coloured head, with white around the eye and a white crown stripe, and metallic green back and wings, barred with black and chestnut. There is a pale stripe extending from the shoulder into a V down its upper back. The adult male is similar to the female, but is smaller and duller with buff spots on the wings and without any chestnut colouring on the head, nape or throat. This species is generally seen singly or in pairs, or less often in small flocks. Flocking occurs during the breeding season, when adults sometimes form loose gatherings around a group of nests. Flocks can also form after the breeding season, and at some locations small groups regularly occur. Groups comprising of a male and up to six offspring have been observed.
Australian Painted Snipe |
Status: Endangered on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Rostratula australis
Reduced rainfall and runoff in the Murray Darling Basin associated with climate change (CSIRO 2008; 2011) may threaten the Australian painted snipe in the future.
These hydrological changes have occurred in parallel with an extended period of drought in Australia (BoM; 2010) and these conditions have intensified the impacts of wetland degradation and water diversion in the Murray Darling Basin.
Australian Government, Listing Advice, Rostratula australis
Potential threats A significant potential (future) threat to the Australian painted snipe is climate change.
Other known and potential threats to the species include trampling of wetland vegetation by livestock (particularly during dry periods) (Johnstone and Storr; 1998 Rogers et al.; 2005); invasive weeds at some sites (Rogers et al.; 2005) and the effects of climate change in conjunction with other threats.
In summary; the Committee recognises that there are several known and potential threats to the species; including wetland loss and degradation and the impacts of climate change; combined with extreme fluctuations in the species population in response to wet and dry periods.
The impact of fire is unknown but may have either a positive or negative influence (Rogers et al.; 2005).
These hydrological changes have occurred in parallel with an extended period of drought in Australia.