Community & Business

20 September, 2022

Fernwren future focus of free talk

ONE of the mysterious and ancient birds of high-altitude rainforests in northern Queensland will be the focus of free wildlife talk at Malanda on Thursday.

The secretive Fernwren. Image: Martin Willis.
The secretive Fernwren. Image: Martin Willis.

The secretive Fernwren is an endemic Wet Tropics species increasingly confined to high elevations such as Mt Lewis.

The only species in its genus, the Latin name means “mountain watcher” and it is one of the scrub-wren or warbler group of Australian birds.

Because it spends most of its time on or near the forest floor, usually in dense rainforest gullies and slopes, it is more often heard than seen.

Long-running studies have shown a decline in abundance at lower altitudes and these studies have led to grave concerns for its future.

In the Action Plan for Australian Birds 2020, it was listed as Endangered and unfortunately this long-running population study ceased to be funded in 2016. The National and State status of this species is “least concern” and there is no recovery plan or conservation advice.

The question to be posed at the free talk at Malanda Hotel on Thursday is: “Is this an example of the rapidity with which climate change can impact some species?”

Dr John Grant has been studying the Fern-wren for many years and at Thursday’s presentation, he will impart new knowledge about this marvellous bird and addresses the question of why it might be threatened and its future out-look.

Despite its significance as one of the World Heritage endemics, little is known about the species.

Anyone is welcome to attend the free Bird-Life Northern Queensland talk at the Malanda Pub on Thursday from 7.30pm. for further Information, call 0427 634 136.


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