Flock Bronzewing Phaps histrionica


Justification of Red List category
This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as locally fairly common, with numbers estimated at between thousands and millions (Gibbs et al. 2001).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction.

Distribution and population

This species is endemic to Australia. It is recorded periodically within a broad sweep from Western Australia, north of 24ºS, through the Northern Territory and north-east South Australia, to eastern Queensland and western New South Wales as far south as Booligal. Its range has apparently recently contracted from eastern Australia, although there have been periodic irruptions into western New South Wales, northern South Australia and eastern Queensland.


Recent range contractions have coincides with the expansion of pastoralism and agriculture, and it is possible that pastoral management, conversion of land to agriculture, and overgrazing by stock and rabbits has rendered much habitat unsuitable. The area of decline also corresponds to the distribution of foxes, and it may be that irruptive flocks cannot persist in areas where foxes are present (Garnett and Crowley 2000).


Text account compilers
Harding, M., Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Phaps histrionica. Downloaded from on 29/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 29/02/2024.