‘Rare birds wiped out’

This morning my wife showed me an article in The Advertiser which was entitled ‘Rare birds wiped out by inferno‘.  I have attached a copy below.  In essence it talks about the possible geographical extinction of two South Australian birds, the Mallee emu wren, and the Black eared Miner as a result of the recent bushfires.  Very sad indeed !

rare birds

Article courtesy of the Adelaide Advertiser.

The Mallee emu wren is one of three species of the genus Stipiturus, commonly known as emu-wrens.  The common name of the genus is derived from the resemblance of their tails to the feathers of an Emu.  They are a tiny bird weighing just 4 – 6.5 grams.  It is a Nationally endangered species and is restricted to open mallee woodland with spinifex under storey in north western Victoria and south eastern South Australia.  It was estimated that there were just 3,000 of these birds in the wild.


Photo courtesy of wwww.beforeitsgone.com.au

Ironically, back in 2008, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) elevated the bird’s status from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘endangered’.  The IUCN warned that the species ‘hold was so fragile that a big bushfire could wipe it out‘.  Sadly their predictions appear to have come true.  Due to recent fires in both South Australia and Victoria, it is believed that just a small pocket of these birds now exist in the Murray Sunset National Park in Victoria.


Map showing the distribution of the Mallee-emu wren, courtesy of Wikipedia.

Click on the link below for more information on the Mallee-emu wren.


The Black-eared Miner is an endangered honeyeater which is endemic to the mallee woodland area of south eastern Australia.


BirdLife International identified the following sites as important areas for the bird: Riverland Mallee (including Billiatt Conservation Park), & Ngarkat Conservation Park in South Australia, and Murray Sunset National Park, Hattah-Kulkyne National Park, Wyperfeld National Park, & Big Desert in Victoria.  Due to the bush fires in Victoria, only a small pocket of these birds now exist in the Riverland region of South Australia.


Click on the link below for more information on the Black-eared Miner.




The Advertiser, Saturday February 8, 2014.

The Age, http://www.theage.com.au/national/futures-deemed-grim-for-three-australian-bird-species-20080520-2ggh.html

Mallee Emu-wren, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mallee_Emu-wren

Blackeared Miner, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-eared_Miner

4 thoughts on “‘Rare birds wiped out’

  1. Was such a pretty bird. Hopefully pockets still exist and we get some rain to generate some fast regrowth and they continue to survive

    • Hi Andrew,

      We need rain really bad. However I don’t think this will do much good. From what I have read, it will take years & years for those areas to re vegetate.



  2. Hi John,

    Interesting, but very sad. As you know, I am trying to put something together so we can raise some money for the parks, and at the same time promote the hobby of amateur radio. Ivan VK5HS has been a mover & shaker in this as well. DEWNR have been spoken to and hopefully in the next few months, we can get a working bee together for Ngarkat & Billiatt CP’s. They are also looking for people to do some bird & wildlife studies. I will keep you posted.

    Enjoy your time in Tassie.

    Best wishes,


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