Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Endangered as Rostratula australis
Listed marine as Rostratula benghalensis (sensu lato)
Listed migratory - CAMBA as Rostratula benghalensis (sensu lato)
Listing and Conservation Advices NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Listing Advice for Rostratula australis (Australian Painted Snipe) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003y) [Listing Advice].
 
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Rostratula australis (Australian Painted Snipe) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2013as) [Listing Advice].
 
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Rostratula australis (Australian Painted Snipe) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2013at) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, stopping the decline and supporting the recovery of this species is complex and involves a highly adaptive management process and the requirement for a high level of: planning to abate the threats; cross-jurisdictional co-ordination; co-ordination between managers; support by key stakeholders; and prioritisation of actions (30/04/2013).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey Guidelines for Australia's Threatened Birds. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.2 (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2010l) [Admin Guideline].
 
Shorebirds - A Vulnerability Assessment for the Great Barrier Reef (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), 2011i) [Admin Guideline].
 
Information Sheets Information Sheet - Australian Painted Snipe (Rostratula australis) (Environment Australia, 2003ad) [Information Sheet].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
List of Migratory Species (13/07/2000) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000b) [Legislative Instrument] as Rostratula benghalensis (sensu lato).
 
Declaration under section 248 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of Marine Species (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000c) [Legislative Instrument] as Rostratula benghalensis (sensu lato).
 
Inclusion of species in the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (14/08/2003) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2003b) [Legislative Instrument] as Rostratula australis.
 
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (141) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2013l) [Legislative Instrument] as Rostratula australis.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:New South Wales Murray Biodiversity Management Plan (Murray Catchment Management Authority (Murray CMA), 2012) [State Action Plan].
NSW:Painted Snipe - endangered species listing. NSW Scientific Committee - final determination (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2004o) [Internet].
NSW:Painted Snipe - profile (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005lg) [Internet].
NSW:Painted Snipe Threatened Species Information (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS), 1999by) [Information Sheet].
NT:Threatened Species of the Northern Territory-Australian Painted Snipe Rostratula australis (Taylor, R, R. Chatto & J. Woinarski, 2013) [Information Sheet].
QLD:Shorebirds (Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (QLD DERM), 2006) [Internet].
QLD:Enhancing biodiversity hotspots along Western Queensland stock routes (Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (Qld DERM), 2009a) [Management Plan].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list) as Rostratula australis
NT: Listed as Vulnerable (Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2000 (Northern Territory): 2012 list) as Rostratula benghalensis (sensu lato)
QLD: Listed as Vulnerable (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): May 2014 list) as Rostratula australis
SA: Listed as Vulnerable (National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (South Australia): June 2011 list) as Rostratula benghalensis (sensu lato)
VIC: Listed as Threatened (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): February 2014 list) as Rostratula benghalensis (sensu lato)
WA: Listed as Endangered (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013 list) as Rostratula benghalensis australis
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Endangered (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
VIC: Listed as Critically Endangered (Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria: 2013 list)
NGO: Listed as Endangered (The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2010)
Scientific name Rostratula australis [77037]
Family Rostratulidae:Charadriiformes:Aves:Chordata:Animalia
Species author (Gould, 1838)
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Other names Rostratula benghalensis australis [26042]
Rostratula benghalensis (sensu lato) [889]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Rostratula australis

Common name: Australian Painted Snipe

Until recently, the Australian Painted Snipe was considered to be a subspecies of Rostratula benghalensis, a species that occurs across Africa and Asia (Marchant & Higgins 1993). However, Lane and Rogers (2000) recommended treating the subspecies found in Australia (R. benghalensis australis) as a full species (R. australis) based on its distinctive appearance, call, measurements and anatomy. Recent genetic studies indicate that the Australian Painted Snipe is a distinct species that diverged around 19 million years ago. It is now accepted as a full species (Baker et. al. 2007; L. Christidis 2002, pers. comm.). The Australian Painted Snipe is the only member of the genus Rostratula that occurs in Australia (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

The Australian Painted Snipe is a stocky wading bird around 220–250 mm in length with a long pinkish bill. The adult female, more colourful than the male, has a chestnut-coloured head, with white around the eye and a white crown stripe, and metallic green back and wings, barred with black and chestnut. There is a pale stripe extending from the shoulder into a V down its upper back. The adult male is similar to the female, but is smaller and duller with buff spots on the wings and without any chestnut colouring on the head, nape or throat (D. Ingwersen 2007, pers. comm.; NSW NPWS 2006).

This species is generally seen singly or in pairs, or less often in small flocks (Marchant & Higgins 1993). Flocking occurs during the breeding season, when adults sometimes form loose gatherings around a group of nests. Flocks can also form after the breeding season, and at some locations small groups regularly occur. Groups comprising of a male and up to six offspring have been observed (D. Ingwersen 2007, pers. comm.; Marchant & Higgins 1993).

The Australian Painted Snipe has been recorded at wetlands in all states of Australia (Barrett et al. 2003; Blakers et al. 1984; Hall 1910b). It is most common in eastern Australia, where it has been recorded at scattered locations throughout much of Queensland, NSW, Victoria and south-eastern South Australia. It has been recorded less frequently at a smaller number of more scattered locations farther west in South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia (Barrett et al. 2003; Blakers et al. 1984; Marchant & Higgins 1993; Rogers et al. 2005). It has also been recorded on single occasions in south-eastern Tasmania (Hall 1910b) and at Lord Howe Island (NSW NPWS 1999b).

The extent of occurrence of the Australian Painted Snipe is estimated, with low reliability, to be 4 500 000 km² (Garnett & Crowley 2000). A comparison of recent and historical records published in Rogers and colleagues (2005) provides no compelling evidence of a change in the extent of occurrence. The extent of occurrence is accordingly suspected to be stable at the present time (Garnett & Crowley 2000).

The area of occupancy of the Australian Painted Snipe is estimated, with low reliability, to be 1000 km² (Garnett & Crowley 2000). The area of occupancy has undoubtedly declined as approximately 50% of wetlands in Australia have been removed since European settlement (Environment Australia 1997). It is difficult to pinpoint locations of decline because the Australian Painted Snipe has been recorded in recent years at scattered sites throughout much of its historical range, and is recorded only infrequently at most sites, the latter making it difficult to determine if its absence from a site is temporary or permanent (Lane & Rogers 2000; Rogers et al. 2005).

A comparison of recent and historical records published in Rogers and colleagues (2005) shows that there have not been any recent records of the Australian Painted Snipe from north-western NSW, or from a number of scattered other locations from which historical records were obtained. Rogers and colleagues (2005) also state that there have been no recent records from south-central Queensland. In 2007, however, a female was observed at a nest in the Diamantina Channel country, and an unconfirmed report was received from the Longreach area in the same year (D. Ingwersen 2007, pers. comm.). The Australian Painted Snipe has also been recorded at several new locations in recent years (Rogers et al. 2005), but these are fewer in number than the locations that have seemingly been abandoned. A substantial decline in the overall reporting rate of the snipe since the 1950s, despite an increase in survey effort in recent decades, further suggests that the snipe is now less widespread than it once was (Lane & Rogers 2000; Rogers et al. 2005). In light of this evidence, the area of occupancy is suspected to be decreasing at the present time (Garnett & Crowley 2000).

Since 2002, national surveys for the Australian Painted Snipe have been conducted twice per year at important historic and contemporary sites and other sites of interest (D. Ingwersen 2007, pers. comm.).

The total population size of the Australian Painted Snipe is effectively unknown, but tentative estimates range from a few hundred individuals to 5000 breeding adults (Garnett & Crowley 2000; Lane & Rogers 2000; Oring et al. 2004; Watkins 1993).

The Australian Painted Snipe is considered to occur in a single, contiguous breeding population (Garnett & Crowley 2000).

The total population size of the Australian Painted Snipe has evidently declined substantially. The reporting rate of the Australian Painted Snipe in eastern Australia has decreased by more than 90% since the 1950s (Rogers et al. 2005), despite an increase in the number of observers and surveys, and awareness among observers that records of the snipe should be reported (Lane & Rogers 2000; Rogers et al. 2005). This decline has been most evident in the Murray-Darling Basin, where there are many historical but few recent records (Barrett et al. 2003; Blakers et al. 1984; Rogers et al. 2005). Changes in survey methodology in the decades since the 1950s make the comparison of reporting rates across this period somewhat problematic, but this situation can be overcome by comparing the reporting rate of the snipe with other species of waterbirds in Australia. Such a comparison has shown that the reporting rate of the snipe has undergone a severe decline when compared with other waterbirds over the same period of time (Rogers et al. 2005). The continued decrease in the reporting rate of the snipe in recent years suggests that numbers are continuing to decline (Garnett & Crowley 2000).

It is possible that the species naturally fluctuates in numbers, building up in numbers when environmental conditions are favorable and declining when conditions are less favorable. However, it is considered that the decline observed in the Australian Painted Snipe since the 1950s–1970s is not part of a natural fluctuation in the population. The decline has been prolonged, widespread and has occurred over various wet and dry cycles (TSSC 2003y).

The generation length of the Australian Painted Snipe is estimated, with low reliability, to be five years (Garnett & Crowley 2000).


The Australian Painted Snipe is not known to cross-breed with any other species of bird.

The Australian Painted Snipe generally inhabits shallow terrestrial freshwater (occasionally brackish) wetlands, including temporary and permanent lakes, swamps and claypans. They also use inundated or waterlogged grassland or saltmarsh, dams, rice crops, sewage farms and bore drains. Typical sites include those with rank emergent tussocks of grass, sedges, rushes or reeds, or samphire; often with scattered clumps of lignum Muehlenbeckia or canegrass or sometimes tea-tree (Melaleuca). The Australian Painted Snipe sometimes utilises areas that are lined with trees, or that have some scattered fallen or washed-up timber (Marchant & Higgins 1993).

Australian Painted Snipe breeding habitat requirements may be quite specific: shallow wetlands with areas of bare wet mud and both upper and canopy cover nearby. Nest records are all, or nearly all, from or near small islands in freshwater wetlands (D. Rogers 2002, pers. comm.), provided that these islands are a combination of very shallow water, exposed mud, dense low cover and sometimes some tall dense cover (Rogers et al. 2005).

The Australian Painted Snipe has also been recorded nesting in and near swamps, canegrass swamps, flooded areas including samphire, grazing land, among cumbungi, sedges, grasses, salt water couch (Paspalum), saltbush (Halosarcia) and grass, also in ground cover of water-buttons and grasses, at the base of tussocks and under low saltbush (Marchant & Higgins 1993). One nest has been found in the centre of a cow-pat in a clump of long grass (Marchant & Higgins 1993).

The nest is usually placed in a scrape in the ground (Pringle 1987), and either has scant lining or is a shallow bowl-shaped nest of dry grass or other plant material (Marchant & Higgins 1993). The closely related Rostratula benghalensis nests on the ground, sometimes on low hummocks or mounds, normally concealed in thick marshy vegetation. They sometimes nest in more open aquatic environments e.g. on a dense mat of floating water weed. Nests are usually lined with leaves and stems, and are occasionally built up with interwoven plant material, but infrequently bare (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The Australian Painted Snipe can use modified habitats, such as low-lying woodlands converted to grazing pasture, sewage farms, dams, bores and irrigation schemes (Marchant & Higgins 1993), however they do not necessarily breed in such habitats (D. Rogers 2002, pers. comm.).

The Australian Painted Snipe loafs on the ground under clumps of lignum, tea-tree and similar dense bushes (Marchant & Higgins 1993). This species has been recorded foraging under clumps of tea-trees (Leach et al. 1987) but most records are from daytime roost sites and the foraging habitat requirements of this species are not well understood and may be quite specific (D. Rogers 2002, pers. comm.).

This species requires suitable wetland areas even in drought conditions. The species can move to suitable habitat if necessary (Marchant & Higgins 1993).

The Australian Painted Snipe is not known to associate with any other species or subspecies of fauna or flora that are listed as threatened under the EPBC Act.

The Australian Painted Snipe may breed in response to wetland conditions rather than during a particular season. It has been recorded breeding in all months in Australia. In southern Australia most records have been from August to February. Eggs have been recorded from mid August to March, with breeding in northern Queensland also recorded between May and October (Marchant & Higgins 1993).

This species has mainly been recorded in the Murray-Darling region, but has also been recorded in south-east Queensland, eastern NSW, south-east South Australia and the Mt Lofty Ranges. The most northerly breeding records include seven nests from near Derby prior to 1999 and one probable record from Taylor's Lagoon, near Broome, in 1999 (Hassell & Rogers 2002). There are also breeding records from Ayr, Queensland, from the 1950s (Marchant & Higgins 1993).

In some situations this species is loosely colonial, although nests are widely separated (Lowe 1963). The Australian Painted Snipe often breeds near nesting Red-necked Avocets (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae), Banded Stilts (Cladorhynchus leucocephalus), Red-kneed Dotterels (Erythrogonys cinctus) and Black-tailed Native-hens (Gallinula ventralis) (Lowe 1963). The closely related Rostratula benghalensis is a solitary nester, but nests may be grouped together due to polyandrous (female mates with more than one male) behaviour (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Rostratula benghalensis and the Australian Painted Snipe are known to lay two to six (usually three or four) eggs, and females may lay up to four clutches in a year. Incubation takes 15–21 days. Chicks are precocial (well-developed, eyes are open and are capable of moving around shortly after birth) and nidifugous (able to leave the nest shortly after hatching), but they are brooded and dependent for the first few days. The incubation of the eggs, and all care of the young, is undertaken by the male (Marchant & Higgins 1993).

The female Australian Painted Snipe mostly breed every two years (del Hoyo et al. 1996; Marchant & Higgins 1993). Based on available breeding records where success could be determined, a combined 23 eggs laid produced a total of six nestlings (Hassell & Rogers 2002; Lowe 1963; Marchant & Higgins 1993; Thomas 1975). In 2002, at least seven Australian Painted Snipe hatched at Hope Island: one pair had three young and another pair had four (birding-aus 2002b).

The Australian Painted Snipe eats vegetation, seeds, insects, worms and molluscs, crustaceans and other invertebrates (Marchant & Higgins 1993).

This species is mainly crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk), preferring to sit quietly under cover of grass, reeds or other dense cover during day, becoming more active at dawn, dusk and during night. They generally remain in dense cover when feeding, although may forage over nearby mudflats and other open areas such as ploughed land or grassland (Marchant & Higgins 1993). The species may have quite specific foraging habitat requirements, but these are not well understood and further study is required (D. Rogers 2002, pers. comm.).

Migration patterns are poorly known for this species (Pringle 1987). They are possibly dispersive or migratory (Lowe 1963). Evidence for dispersal includes irregular and infrequent occurrences and breeding in some areas (Marchant & Higgins 1993), e.g. non-breeding group at Laverton, Victoria, in May to September. The first record for the area since 1897 was in 1951 (Wheeler 1955). Dispersive movements have been attributed to local conditions: move to flooded areas; from drying to permanent wetlands; away from areas affected by drought. Evidence for migration of some birds includes claims of regular seasonal influxes, e.g. spring-summer or summer visitor to Cunnamulla and Minden in Queensland, Mossgiel in south-western NSW, and Victoria (Marchant & Higgins 1993).

Surveys from 1977–1981 suggest that the birds leave the southern part of their range in winter, as combined reporting rates for eastern Queensland, NSW and Victoria were 0.5% in summer and 0.04% in winter (Blakers et al. 1984). However, no corresponding increase in winter reporting rate elsewhere has been observed. It is not known if the difference in reporting rate is due to movement or if the species is just more difficult to find in winter (D. Rogers 2002, pers. comm.). It is claimed that birds arrived at Ayr, Queensland from March to April each year (Lowe 1963). A breeding flock near Kerang remained approximately 150 days in the area from November 1956 (Lowe 1963). Records in the Kimberley region are from all months except February and June, and breeding has been recorded in March, August to September and possibly December. This suggests that the population may be resident, although not strictly sedentary (Hassell & Rogers 2002).

The Australian Painted Snipe defends a territory around its nest in the breeding season (Pringle 1987). Territory size has not been quantified, but as the snipe sometimes nests in loose colonies in which nests may be as little as 20 m apart (Lowe 1963; McGilp 1934b), territories would appear unlikely to extend much beyond the area immediately surrounding the nest.

Distinctiveness
The Australian Painted Snipe is a distinctive bird and unlikely to be confused with any other species (Marchant & Higgins 1993). In flight, the Australian Painted Snipe can be differentiated from its close relative, Rostratula benghalensis, by its rounded wing shape (D. Ingwersen 2007, pers. comm.).

Detectability
The Australian Painted Snipe is difficult to detect. It is thought to be mainly crepuscular, but can be detected during the day. It is secretive but conspicuous on the rare occasions that it ventures out into the open (D. Ingwersen 2007, pers. comm.; Marchant & Higgins 1993). Intensive vigilance is required to detect flushed birds (D. Ingwersen 2007, pers. comm.). This species may often be overlooked during wader and other waterbird census projects because of its cryptic behaviour and occurrence in rank vegetation (Lane & Rogers 2000).

Loss and degradation of habitat
The primary factor in the decline of the Australian Painted Snipe has probably been a loss and alteration of wetland habitat. The two major sources of this have been the drainage of wetlands and the diversion of water to agriculture and reservoirs, the latter process reducing flooding and precluding the formation of temporary shallow wetlands (Garnett & Crowley 2000; Rogers et al. 2005; Watkins 1993). It is estimated that since European settlement approximately 50% of wetlands in Australia have been converted for other uses. In some regions of the country the degree of loss has been even greater. For example, 89% of wetlands in south-eastern South Australia have been eliminated, and 75% of wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain in Western Australia have drained or been filled (Environment Australia 1997). The substantial decline in the reporting rate of the snipe in the Murray-Darling Basin coincided with major changes in the management of water resources there, including the diversion of large volumes of water to irrigated agriculture (Lane & Rogers 2000). It is estimated that about 70% of water in the Murray-Darling system is now allocated to agriculture, and movements of water are regulated by a complex network of weirs, catchments and channels. The net result of these developments has been (Kingsford 2000; Lane & Rogers 2000; Rogers et al. 2005; White 1997):

  • a decline in water quality because of increased nutrient and saline content
  • the alteration of many formerly suitable temporary wetlands through collection of saline irrigation waste-water or changes to water cycles, such as the permanent retention of water, which promotes the proliferation of dense reeds that are avoided by the snipe, and could potentially render water levels too deep to be suitable
  • a reduction in the frequency of flooding, with the Murray River now flooding about once every 14 years as opposed to about once every three years in the past.

As a wetland inhabitant, the Australian Painted Snipe is also presumed to be vulnerable to other processes that reduce the potential for flooding, such as prolonged drought (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

The habitat of the Australian Painted Snipe might also be degraded by other processes. Grazing and associated trampling of wetland vegetation by cattle and/or sheep is a threat to the Australian Painted Snipe, particularly in arid regions where grazing tends to become concentrated around wetlands in the dry season (NSW NPWS 1999b; Rogers et al. 2005). For example, an apparent decline in Australian Painted Snipe numbers in the Kimberley region of Western Australia has been linked to overgrazing by cattle (Johnstone & Storr 1998). It is possible that cattle could also trample nests (Hassell & Rogers 2002).

Concern exists that changes to fire regimes might be affecting savannah vegetation around wetlands in northern Australia (White 1997). Over some time scales, fire may not be detrimental to the habitat of the Australian Painted Snipe. For example, fire is employed as a management tool at wetlands in the Riverina region to prevent the formation of dense stands of canegrass. However, the long term effects of persistent burning are poorly known (Rogers et al. 2005).

The replacement of endemic wetland vegetation by invasive, noxious weeds could render habitats less suitable or unsuitable for the snipe (Rogers et al. 2005). For example, Parkinsonia aculeata is a thorny shrub that currently infests more than 800 000 ha of land in the semi-arid and sub-humid tropical regions of Australia, and has the potential to become much more widespread. It thrives around sources of water and forms tall, dense thickets that are unlikely to be used by the snipe and more generally have a detrimental impact on the health of wetland communities (CRC for Australian Weed Management et al. 2003; Rogers et al. 2005).

Predation
Predation by feral animals is a potential threat to the Australian Painted Snipe. The habit of the snipe to nest on the ground could render it vulnerable to introduced terrestrial predators such as the European Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) or feral cat (Felis catus). However, there is no evidence to suggest that predation by feral animals has played a role in the population decline.

In 2001, a project was initiated by the Threatened Bird Network and Australasian Wader Studies Group to improve knowledge of the Australian Painted Snipe so that meaningful conservation actions could be proposed (Rogers et al. 2005). Recovery actions implemented as part of this study include (Garnett & Crowley 2000; D. Ingwersen 2007, pers. comm.; Rogers et al. 2005):

  • the development of a database of records
  • the introduction of national targeted surveys conducted twice per year at important historic and contemporary sites and other sites of interest
  • an assessment of habitat preferences.

To supplement these measures, the following recovery actions have been recommended (Garnett & Crowley 2000; NSW NPWS 1999b):

  • Protect and manage habitat at principal breeding and wintering sites and, as a precautionary measure, identify and protect any additional habitat used by the Australian Painted Snipe in the last 10 years.
  • Develop guidelines, in consultation with landholders, for the management of suitable wetlands.
  • Initiate control programs for feral animals, and erect fencing to prevent grazing and trampling of wetlands by cattle, at suitable wetlands.
  • Rehabilitate selected wetlands that were formerly used for breeding.
  • Undertake further research to determine movements and improve knowledge of habitat preferences.
  • Monitor the population at the landscape scale using, to begin with, the Atlas of Australian Birds, and determine the breeding range.
  • If deemed necessary, from the results of population monitoring, develop techniques to maintain a population in captivity.
  • Encourage participation of community groups and other relevant bodies in the recovery effort.

No major field studies have been conducted on the Australian Painted Snipe. However, some moderately detailed information on the breeding behaviour of the snipe has been collected from opportunistic encounters with nesting birds (Hassell & Rogers 2002; Jaensch 2003; Jaensch et al. 2004; Lowe 1963; McGilp 1934b), and the taxonomy, conservation status and habitat preferences of the species have been reviewed (Lane & Rogers 2000; Rogers et al. 2005).

No comprehensive management documents have been prepared for the Australian Painted Snipe. However, a brief recovery outline for the species is featured in The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000 (Garnett & Crowley 2000) and the Information Sheet - Australian Painted Snipe (Rostratula australis) (Environment Australia 2003ad) discusses the implications of the Australian Painted Snipe as a nationally threatened species.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000 (Garnett, S.T. & G.M. Crowley, 2000) [Cwlth Action Plan].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Land clearance (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2001w) [Listing Advice].
NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Listing Advice for Rostratula australis (Australian Painted Snipe) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003y) [Listing Advice].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Listing Advice for Rostratula australis (Australian Painted Snipe) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003y) [Listing Advice].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Habitat alteration (vegetation, soil, hydrology) due to trampling and grazing by livestock NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Listing Advice for Rostratula australis (Australian Painted Snipe) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003y) [Listing Advice].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat loss, modification and/or degradation Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Loss and/or fragmentation of habitat and/or subpopulations Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human induced disturbance due to unspecified activities Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox, Fox) NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Listing Advice for Rostratula australis (Australian Painted Snipe) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003y) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Predation, competition, habitat degradation and/or spread of pathogens by introduced species Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Alteration of hydrological regimes and water quality Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Listing Advice for Rostratula australis (Australian Painted Snipe) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003y) [Listing Advice].
Pollution:Pollution:Declining water quality (salinity, nutrient and/or turbitity) NON-CURRENT Commonwealth Listing Advice for Rostratula australis (Australian Painted Snipe) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2003y) [Listing Advice].
Pollution:Pollution:Deterioration of water and soil quality (contamination and pollution) Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].
Pollution:Pollution:Pollution due to oil spills and other chemical pollutants Northern Rivers Regional Biodiversity Management Plan (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2010p) [State Recovery Plan].

Baker, A.J., S.L. Pereira, D.I. Rogers, R. Elbourne & C.J. Hassell (2007). Mitochondrial-DNA evidence shows the Australian Painted Snipe is a full species, Rostratula australis. Emu. 107 Iss 3:185-189.

Barrett, G., A. Silcocks, S. Barry, R. Cunningham & R. Poulter (2003). The New Atlas of Australian Birds. Melbourne, Victoria: Birds Australia.

birding-aus (2002b). Search the birding-aus Archives. [Online]. Available from: http://menura.cse.unsw.edu.au:1080/cgi-bin/wilma/birding-aus.

Blakers, M., S.J.J.F. Davies & P.N. Reilly (1984). The Atlas of Australian Birds. Melbourne, Victoria: Melbourne University Press.

Christidis, L. (2002). Personal communication.

CRC for Australian Weed Management, Commonwealth Department of Environment and Heritage, & Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines (2003). Weed Management Guide - Parkinsonia. Brisbane, Queensland: Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal, eds. (1996). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 3, Hoatzin to Auks. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions.

Environment Australia (1997). The Wetlands Policy of the Commonwealth Government of Australia. Canberra: Environment Australia.

Environment Australia (2003ad). Information Sheet - Australian Painted Snipe (Rostratula australis). [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/painted-snipe.html.

Garnett, S.T. & G.M. Crowley (2000). The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: Environment Australia and Birds Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/action/birds2000/index.html.

Hall, R. (1910b). The southern limit of Rostratula australis, Gould. Emu. 10:138.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Rostratula australis in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:59:18 +1000.