Our Latest News

PWS Fire Update - Friday 15 February 2019

15/02/2019

Parks and Wildlife Tasmania (PWS) can advise the following locations, reserves and tracks have been re-opened today (Friday 15 February).More

PWS Fire Update - Thursday 14 February 2019

14/02/2019

Parks and Wildlife Tasmania (PWS) can advise the following locations, reserves and tracks have been re-opened.More

PWS Fire Update - Monday 11 February 2019

11/02/2019

As a result of the emergency service suppression efforts and calmer weather conditions over recent days, PWS can advise the following changes to track openings and closures.More

Forty spotted pardalote

40sptp.gif

Forty-Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus quadragintus)

Current status: The forty-spotted pardalote (Pardalotus quadragintus) is one of 18 birds listed as endangered under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995. It is also listed as endangered under the Federal Act.

Why is it endangered? This tiny bird is endemic to Tasmania - that means it is only found here. In fact it is now restricted to only 7 locations, all in Eastern Tasmania. These are: Maria Island, Tinderbox, Kingston, Bruny Island, Coningham and two locations on Flinders Island. They used to be found at Lime Bay but have not been recorded there for ten years. The largest colonies are at Bruny Island and Maria Island.

The biggest threats to these birds are loss of habitat and competition from aggressive bird species. Land clearance has caused them to lose much of their favoured white gum forest habitat. This has caused fragmentation of the bird's populations.

Why are white gums important to their survival? Forty-spotted pardalotes rely on white gum trees (Eucalyptus viminalis) for their survival. They feed on the insects, lerps (a protective insect coating) and manna (a sugary substance secreted by white gums in response to insect attack). White gums occur along Tasmania's east coast in dry eucalypt forests. The birds also need old white gum trees with hollows for nesting in. So it is very important to keep white gums on east coast properties to provide food and nest sites for these endangered birds.

40spot1.flv

What is being done? In 1991 a recovery plan was funded for this species. This aimed to protect the bird's habitat on Bruny Island by securing land and educating the general community about the plight of this species. As a result land was donated which contains the major colony of birds at Dennes Hill and this is now protected as a Nature Reserve. A number of community groups and landowners have become involved in promoting and protecting this bird's habitat and several thousand white gum trees have been replanted on Bruny Island and other areas. It is estimated that there are around 3000-4500 breeding birds. Some 66% of the bird's habitat is protected.

Recommended further reading:

  • Bryant S. 1992. Long term Survival of the 40-spotted Pardalote On Bruny Island. Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania. VIDEO available. 

Available from Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania.

  • Forty-spotted pardalote video
  • Endangered species notesheet: Forty-spotted pardalote.