VULNERABLE: The black breasted button quail has had its range reduced dramatically through habitat clearing.
VULNERABLE: The black breasted button quail has had its range reduced dramatically through habitat clearing.

Why this threatened Gladstone bird is not being monitored

IT'S a plump bird, weighing between 65-100g and it tends to get about in pairs.

The black breasted button quail occurs in the Gladstone region, but it's not often seen.

It is estimated the total population Australia-wide is down to 5000 breeding pairs.

But despite its small numbers and being listed as vulnerable both at a state and federal level, there is no monitoring program for the quail anywhere in the country, according to the Threatened Species Recovery Hub.

In May the Hub, which is affiliated with the Federal Government, released a national assessment of the state of monitoring of threatened species at state and federal levels.

The black breasted button quail is one of about a third of Australia's threatened species for which no monitoring is being conducted.

Professor John Woinarski from Charles Darwin University was heavily involved in the the study and said monitoring was critically important.

Without monitoring we have no idea if populations are going up or down, or what's driving any changes," he said.

"We also won't know if the conservation actions we are investing in are working or need to be adapted."

A spokesman from the Department of the Environment and Energy said the government was working with a range of stakeholders to protect the quail.

The spokesman said several projects funded by the government were improving quail habitat.

The Queensland Department of Environment and Science didn't respond by deadline.



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