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.
The species has a large global population estimated to be 21,500 individuals (Garnett and Crowley 2000). The population of subspecies anthopeplusis is estimated at 20,000 individuals. The population of subspecies monarchoides is estimated at 1,500 individuals (Garnett and Crowley 2000).
The population of subspecies anthopeplusis is probably stable overall, whilst that of subspecies monarchoides may be declining (Garnett and Crowley 2000).
This species is found in two disjunct populations in southern Australia. Subspecies anthopeplus is found in south-west Western Australia, and monarchoides is found along rivers in south-west New South Wales, north-west Victoria, and south-east South Australia. Subspecies anthopeplus became extinct in 14 of the 66 wheatbelt shires in the central and northern wheatbelt between 1970 and 1990. However, there is evidence of range extentions and an increase in numbers in the wheatbelt in the 1990s and on the Swan Coastal Plain.
Clearance of woodland and mallee for agriculture destroyed much wheatbelt habitat, but now occurs at insignificant levels. Remaining habitat, however, is grazed which may be a potential threat. Nesting habitat has been destroyed, and regeneration prevented, by timber logging, firewood collection, ringbarking, increasing salinisation and waterlogging. In some areas, feral honeybees and Galah Eolophus roseicapilla compete for remaining available hollows. A small proportion of the population is exposed to poison, shooting, and when feeding on split grain, traffic accidents (Garnett and Crowley 2000).
Text account compilers
Harding, M., Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J.
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Polytelis anthopeplus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/07/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/07/2020.