Australia's threatened bird species decline 60% in 23 years


Australia's populations of threatened bird species have declined by some 60% during the past 23 years.

The Threatened Bird Index is produced by scientists working with the University of Queensland and brings together 20,000 monitoring datasets from across the country to measure long-term trends among threatened and near-threatened birds.

Helmeted Honeyeater, a Critically Endangered subspecies of Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, was assessed in the Threatened Bird Index (Robin Sinclair).

The 2023 index examined 72 species for which enough data was available to assess trends. Since 2000, terrestrial bird species showed the greatest declines (62.5%), followed by migratory shorebirds (42.5%) and marine birds (33.8%).

By state, the most significant declines since 2000 were in species found in South Australia, where populations had fallen by an average of 69.6%, and in Queensland, where the average decline was 65.7%.

"It's not going well," said the conservation data scientist, Elisa Bayraktarov. "We need to do better in protecting our threatened and near-threatened birds. When we see these levels of decline we need to be thinking about conservation actions.

"First of all making sure these birds have habitat to live in – not removing any more – and removing predator species, particularly cats and foxes."

Find out more at the Threatened Species Index website.