There are more than 200 species of native birds in the region. However, another 11 have become regionally extinct since European colonisation. Of those still found in the region, 69 are considered threatened at the state or national level and another 28 are considered threatened regionally.
Commonly sighted birds
Changing land practices since the time of European colonisation have led to the decline of many species. However, these land management changes have also favoured some species, which are now more abundant. These include the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Little Corella, Long-billed Corella, Rainbow Lorikeet, Noisy Minor, Australian Magpie, Grey Currawong and the Australian White Ibis. Other species such as the Kookaburra have adapted well to the altered landscape and are persisting nicely despite urbanisation.
Some of the major threats to bird conservation are:
- Climate change, drought and severe weather – including the threat of long-term climatic change which may be linked to global warming and other sever climatic/weather events e.g. droughts, temperature extremes, storms and flooding.
- Inappropriate fire regimes – while fire is a natural part of the landscape, changes to factors such as fire frequency, season and intensity can change habitat suitability for fauna.
- Water management and use – the regulation of rivers and diversion of water for urban supplies, industry and agricultural production have significantly altered flow regimes. Species requiring wet or moist conditions, and with narrow habitat requirements, will be most affected by water management and use. Impacts will likely be more pronounced during dry seasons and extended drought periods where human use tends to exacerbate already low levels.
- Predation by feral and uncontrolled cats – native species have adapted to a suite of native predators but do not as easily coexist with introduced predators. Domestic cats have the potential to kill native wildlife. However, there are things that you can do to help protect both cats and wildlife.
- Grazing and disturbance by stock and over-abundant native wildlife – grazing by stock and native wildlife can have positive and negative effects on habitats. Positive effects include stimulation of growth in native grasses and controlling weed abundance. Negative effects include changes to vegetation structure and composition that can make habitats unsuitable for birds.
Find out more about key species and view a list of threatened native birds found in the region.