Logo of BirdLife Northern Queensland

Logo of BirdLife Northern Queensland

Black-throated Finch Recovery

Black-throated Finch black_throated_finch_43090.jpg

Black-throated Finch of white-rumped southern race, cincta, courtesy Ian Montgomery: more photos.

BirdLife Northern Queensland is represented on the Black-throated Finch Recovery Team.


The black-throated finch Poephila cincta is a small, stocky, granivorous bird with a distinctive black throat that forms a prominent bib. There are two races: the nominate (cincta), white-rumped, southern race - see photo - and the black-rumped, northern race, atropygialis.

Current species status

The southern subspecies of the black-throated finch is currently listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). It is listed as Endangered under the schedules of the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act) and Vulnerable under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NC Act).

Distribution and habitat

The southern subspecies of the black-throated finch historically occurred from north-east NSW to Queensland's Atherton Tablelands and west to central Queensland, with the northern subspecies found from the Atherton Tablelands, north to Cape York Peninsula, and west to the Gulf of Carpentaria (Schodde and Mason 1999). It appears that the southern subspecies is now confined to the northern part of its former range and analysis of historical records suggests that a contraction of range has been occurring for several decades

The black-throated finch inhabits grassy woodland dominated by eucalypts, paperbarks or acacias, where there is access to seeding grasses and water (Zann 1976). Particularly in north Queensland during the wet season, the species probably needs a mosaic of different habitats in which to find seed.

Black-throated Finch btf_habitat_65828.jpg

Habitat of Black-throated Finch, courtesy Ian Montgomery.

Recovery objectives

The overall objective of this Recovery Plan is to manage and protect the black-throated finch and its habitat, and to promote the recovery of the southern subspecies.

Summary of actions

The actions of this recovery plan seek to understand the relative importance of the known threats, to verify the suspected decline of the subspecies and protect and enhance existing habitat.


The recovery team has now completed 10 years of annual waterhole counts and these are planned to continue. In collaboration with DERM, a data base of all reported sightings has been established. Habitat mapping has been completed. A guide for developers has been published. An education kit is being developed. A number of research projects on both the bird and its habitat have been completed or are in progress.

Click on the following link to download a copy of the 2010 Progress Report as a pdf file.

Recovery Plan

For further details of the recovery plan download this document (pdf) and visit the website of the Black-throat Recovery Team.