The Mitchell River catchment supports at least 12 taxa of finches, including three species which are threatened – White-bellied Crimson Finch, Cape York Star Finch and Gouldian Finch – while some other species, including the northern race of Black-throated Finch, have declined in recent decades.
It includes little known taxa such as the Lesser Red-browed Finch, which is probably of uncertain status, and the Cape York Star Finch which, along with Gouldian Finch, have drastically declined in the catchment in the last 30 years.
This project combines field work with the preparation of a document which provides a general overview for managing and monitoring finches, and presents details of some case studies that are showing promise in managing threatened finch populations locally.
These case studies include ways of addressing impacts from uncontrolled fire, livestock, feral pigs, weeds, degrading water quality and illustrate some positive means of improving land management. Landowners and managers are encouraged to consider some of the approaches outlined here and adapt for their specific situations.
Without a switch to more sensitive land management, several of these finch species will slide further into oblivion along with other biota.