The impacts of fire regimes on key resources for the threatened Gouldian finch

Date: 12, Nov, 2019
Author(s):   Weier, A., Radford, I.J., Woolley, L.- A., Lawes M.J.
Publisher: TSR Hub

The Endangered Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae) is found only in the tropical savannas of northern Australia. It feeds exclusively on grass seed. An increase in the frequency, extent and intensity of fires in the region is diminishing the availability of the grass seed that the species depends on. In this study, we examined the effects of fire regimes (season, frequency, time since fire) on plant density, seed production, seed nutrition and overall seed abundance on the bird’s most important breeding season food source, the annual grass Sorghum stipoideum. We monitored this grass species over Gouldian finch breeding habitat near Wyndham, Western Australia, over three consecutive years while also considering local fire history over 16 years.