Conservation Status

I decided to try and put each species of birds into a Conservation Status category simply because the number of individual birds for each species is declining by each passing year. The category I place for each species is not for the entire species which inhabits the Tenterfield Plateau. It is just for the species within the township of Tenterfield itself.

The extinction level of bird species from Tenterfield seems to be caused entirely by a lack of continuous rainfall. Interference by humans of their habitat does not seem to make entire species move out of town. It is the lack of rain that makes them move, and nothing else. No rain equals a dwindling food supply.

1. As a lot of species have moved out of Tenterfield I am replacing my words of "moved out of Tenterfield" with the top category of "Extinct". These Extinct species are hopefully alive somewhere else just not in Tenterfield anymore. Where they moved to I do not know, it is anyone's guess really. No dead bird bodies have been seen since these species began moving out of Tenterfield so I can safely say that they just left the area. Categorizing species as Extinct also means I personally have not sighted this species for a few years or more.

Other categories I have given species is a rough estimate of their status. Some could be ranked higher up on this list than what I have listed below because very few numbers exist in Tenterfield of their species.

  • Extinct (EX) - No known individuals remaining 1.
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW) - Known only to survive in captivity, or as a naturalized population outside its historic range.
  • Critically Endangered (CR) - Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
  • Endangered (EN) - High risk of extinction in the wild.
  • Vulnerable (VU) - High risk of endangerment in the wild.
  • Near Threatened (NT) - Likely to become endangered in the near future.
  • Least Concern (LC) - Lowest risk. Does not qualify for a moreat risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.
  • Data Deficient (DD) - Not enough data to make an assessment of its risk of extinction.
  • Not Evaluated (NE) - Has not yet been evaluated against the criteria.

Blue-faced Honeyeater (EX)
Cattle Egret (EX)
Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (EX) - not sighted since about 2005-06
Masked Owl (EX)

Masked Lapwing (NT-CR) - Update 2 Nov.2012
A relatively common bird to Tenterfield but is now suffering from the drought and has not bred in 2 years. Their numbers are approx. less than 30 individuals. Breeding again.

Yellow-faced Honeyeater (NE)
I've only seen one individual bird of this species.

Laughing Kookaburra (LC - NT)
Numbers are critically low but breeding does happen every year. Possibly less than 20 individuals left in Tenterfield

Grey Fantail (NE) (NT-VU) - Update 2 Nov. 2012
No females observed in area. Females sighted and were here before, just didn't ID them as females, and have successfully bred.

Red Wattlebird (LC-NT) - Update 2 Nov. 2012
Not enough females in the area. Only 3 individual birds have been thus far sighted and/or heard: 2 adults and a possible juvenile. The non-breeding Red Wattlebird has a deformed tail. Juvenile remains, no adults in sight. Juvenile found a mate and has successfully bred.

Noisy Miner (NE) - Update 2 Nov. 2012
May be going extinct in Tenterfield but tend to go bush when the food is scarce. Only one individual remains in the south-west area of Tenterfield. Remaining bird has disappeared.

Eastern Spinebill (NT) - Update 2 Nov. 2012
Only 2 individuals, a possible breeding pair, have been observed. Breeding pair had offspring. Now 3 birds.

Crimson Rosella (NT-VU)(EX?) - unchanged as at 2 Nov. 2012
These birds are so close to the brink of extinction here it isn't funny. There appears to be only 2-3 birds left in the area, the same ones that returned earlier this year. If they breed, which I doubt they will, it is more than likely they will leave the area.

Galah (NT)
No longer residents. Only a small handful are spotted in Tenterfield. Numbers dwindling fast, and will probably move out of Tenterfield again.

Crested Pigeon (NT-VU) - Update 2 Nov. 2012 (CR)
Less than 20 individuals in Tenterfield left. Trying to breed but no luck as yet. Breeding pairs always seen but no juveniles. Breeding pairs appear to be sterile.

Satin Bowerbird (NT)
Left mostly because of a lack of food here but ocassionally sighted individually now.

Rainbow Lorikeet (NT-VU)
Only observed 2 indivuals, a breeding pair, but no offspring. May move out of area again.

Torresian Crow (VU- EN)
Numbers are dropping fast. About 10 individual birds of this only flock in Tenterfield have either relocated themselves to another part of Tenterfield or have left Tenterfield altogether. No matter where I go to in Tenterfield I do not see any more than 3 of these birds.

Australian King Parrot (NT-VU)
Numbers have dropped to dangerously low numbers, less than 10 birds. All seem to be from the same family group. One breeding pair still exists in Tenterfield but their food supply is running dangerously low, and this species may eventually move out of Tenterfield as well before this spring has finished.

Restless Flycatcher (CR) - Update 2 Nov. 2012 (EX)
One male has only ever been sighted. No females in the area as far as I know. Not sighted since July 2012.

Australian White Ibis (CR)
Annual visitor in July but now only observed during one week in July and then gone. Only one individual has been spotted in 2012.

Pacific Koel (NT) - Update 2 Nov. 2012 (EX)
No individuals have returned from their feeding grounds. Only one individual bird was heard last year in my part of Tenterfield. I heard one individual in September but it moved on and left Tenterfield. May refuse to come back.

Australian Magpie (LC-NT) - Update 2 No. 2012
The drought is seriously reducing their food supply. No breeding of Magpies has begun this Spring as yet. Breeding occurred and successful hatching of chicks.

Willy Wagtail (VU-EN) - Update 2 Nov. 2012 (CR)
No females sighted as yet in a 2 year period. No Willy Wagtails bred, as far as I could observe, last year. Poor ID'ing females on my part. Several breeding pairs but eggs and/or chicks get eaten by bird predators before they can fledge. No new offspring to replace aging population.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (LC)
Magpie Lark (NT)
A lot of Magpie Larks moved out of Tenterfield over the years but currently the numbers are very low. Breeding pairs are now generally seen together but as far as I know they are not breeding either, and haven't done so for at least 1 year.

Pied Butcherbird (NT-VU)
Most have moved out of Tenterfield. The few remaining are not breeding due to a lack of food and probably habitat.

Grey Butcherbird (VU-EN) - Update 2 Nov. 2012 (EX)
Numbers are extremely lower, probably less than 20 individuals. As far as I know they have moved out of town and are not breeding. None sighted in 8-10 months due to severe drought.

House Sparrow (LC)
Not as numerous as the Common Starling.

Common Starling (NT)
Numbers decreasing rapidly. Perhaps just 50 or less individuals in Tenterfield.

Welcome Swallow (NT-VU)
Numbers decreasing and not breeding as far as I can tell.

Double-barred Finch (LC-NT)
Seem to be okay at the moment in small numbers.

Red-browed Finch (LC-NT)
Also seem to be okay but less numbers than the Double-barred Finch.

Superb Fairy Wren (LC-NT)
Very low in numbers but mating pairs exist. Scattered thoughout Tenterfield.

Common Bronzewing (NE)
Purple Swamphen (NE) - Update 2 Nov. 2012 (EX)
Used to be sighted at Tenterfield Creek but left area when 2011 flood hit. None sighted since 2011 flood.

Tawny Frogmouth (NE) - Update 2 Nov. 2012 (EX)
not sighted since about 2005-06

Wedge-tailed Eagle (NE) - Update 2 Nov. 2012 (EX)
may be extinct. None sighted in years.


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