The Forty-spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus quadragintus) is a tiny bird found only in Tasmania. It now occurs in only a few small areas of dry forest that contain Eucalyptus viminalis (white gum) trees, on which it is exclusively dependent. Core habitat includes any White Gum forest within 3 km of the east coast from St Helens to Southport. Potential habitat is any white gum forest 3-5 km from the east coast from St Helens to Southport and including the Furneaux group. Recent surveys found a 60% population decline in 17 years, to around 1500 individuals. The major threat to the species is loss and degradation of habitat through clearing, conversion, drought or dieback. Forty-spotted Pardalote colonies can also disappear with habitat fragmentation and human disturbance such as housing and roading. Substantial efforts are required to protect the species, including protection and covenanting of habitat, improved community awareness of the issues, as well as regeneration of white gum. Loss even of single white gum trees may significantly reduce a colony’s survival prospects.
- Important: Is this species in your area? Do you need a permit? Ensure you’ve covered all the issues by checking the Planning Ahead page.
- Important: Different threatened species may have different requirements. For any activity you are considering, read the Activity Advice pages for background information and important advice about managing around the needs of multiple threatened species.
- ‘Habitat’ refers to both known habitat for the species (i.e. in or near habitat where the species has been recorded) and potential habitat (i.e. areas of habitat with appropriate characteristics for the species and within the species potential range which have not yet been adequately surveyed).
- If in doubt about whether a site represents potential habitat for this species, contact the Threatened Species Section for further advice.
- The known range of the Forty-spotted Pardalote includes a small number of colonies in patches of white gum all within 5 km of the east coast between St Helens and Southport. The potential range of the species includes any patches of white gum within 5 km of the east coast between St Helens and Southport including the Furneaux group.
- Habitat for the Forty-spotted Pardalote corresponds to the following vegetation types in the DPIPWE Bushcare Toolkit: Grassy woodland and forest, Grassy/heathy woodland and forest, Heathy woodland and forest, and Shrubby forest (all also known as dry sclerophyll). See Eucalypt Bush in the Bushcare ToolkitBushcare Toolkitfor more information on managing these vegetation types.
- Habitat characteristics for the Forty-spotted Pardalote include the following: forest containing white gum trees, with either a grassy or shrubby understorey; TASVEG communities include white gum grassy forest (DVG), white gum coastal shrubby forest on Holocene sand (DVC), dry stringybark forest (DOB), white peppermint-blue gum-white gum grassy shrubby dry sclerophyll forest (DPU), black gum-white gum forest (DOV), black peppermint forest on a sandstone substrate (DAS), and East Coast wet viminalis (WVI).
What to avoid
- Loss of white gum, including single trees.
Helping the species
- In order to recognise the species if it occurs on your property, learn to identify the Forty-spotted Pardalote. If in doubt, seek expert assistance with identification.
- If you live or work in the area where the species occurs (see distribution map, above), look out for and record any observations of the species. All records of this species can provide important information on distribution and abundance.
- If you are interested in knowing for certain whether the species occurs on your land, organise a formal survey. You may need to employ an ecological consultant to do this. Your local Bushcare or Field Naturalist club may be able to assist you with a survey.
- Important! Always report any observations of the species to the DPIPWE Natural Values Atlas, or else provide the data direct to the Threatened Species Section. Records stored on the NVA are a permanent record and are accessible to other people interested in this species.
- Consider the needs of the whole habitat. Preserving a threatened species' habitat is the best way to manage both the species and the environment in which it lives.
- Habitat for the Forty-spotted Pardalote corresponds to the following vegetation types in the DPIPWE Bushcare Toolkit: Grassy woodland and forest, Grassy/heathy woodland and forest, Heathy woodland and forest, and Shrubby forest (all also known as dry sclerophyll). See Eucalypt Bush in the Bushcare Toolkit for more information on managing these vegetation types.
- For long-term protection of populations on private land – consider protection of habitat through a vegetation management agreement or conservation covenant. See the DPIPWE Private Land Conservation Program for more details.
- To protect habitat from the establishment and spread of weeds – prevent the spread of weeds in Forty-spotted Pardalote habitat, and always follow weed management guidelines.
- To increase areas of habitat in and around colonies - plant white gum trees using seed sourced from the local area.
- To protect habitat from domestic stock - fence off habitat of known colonies.
- See the 'What is Needed' section in the Forty-spotted Pardalote Listing Statement for a full list of conservation management actions for this species.
Cutting or clearing trees or vegetation
- To avoid loss of habitat – do not remove white gum trees within and adjacent to known colonies. Note that white gums are extremely sensitive to soil and root disturbance and are very easily damaged.
- Remember that even single white gum trees can provide important habitat.
- To avoid permanent habitat loss - do not convert habitat (e.g. to plantation, pasture or cropping land).
- To protect habitat – prevent fire reaching the canopy of mature white gum or other eucalypt species as this constitutes the main habitat and major food source for the species.
- To avoid hot burns which can damage Forty-spotted Pardalote habitat – prevent build-up of fuel loads and reduce fuel loads by cool patchwork burning on an 8-14 year interval.
- Where time since last fire exceeds 20 years and fuel loads are already very high, extreme care needs to be taken in reducing fuel loads through burning.
- Always seek advice and/or obtain permits from relevant authorities (e.g. Tasmanian Fire Service, Parks and Wildlife Service, DPIPWE) prior to preparing a burn plan.
- To protect habitat – prevent construction activities including road construction within known colonies which could kill or damage white gum trees.
- To prevent possible risks of reducing survival and breeding success of colonies – avoid construction activities within or adjacent to known colonies which may increase general levels of noise, human activity, vehicular traffic, etc.
- To prevent damage to trees and to allow regeneration of white gum seedlings – exclude stock from habitat of known colonies.
- To avoid loss of habitat – within and adjacent to known colonies, do not remove white gum trees as part of subdivision activities.
- Remember that even single white gum trees can provide important habitat.
Changing water flow / quality
- To prevent loss of habitat – within and adjacent to known colonies, avoid activities such as earthworks and changes to drainage that could lead to loss of white gum trees. Note that White Gums are extremely sensitive to soil and root disturbance and are very easily damaged.
- To prevent possible risks of reducing survival and breeding success of colonies - avoid recreational activities which could increase levels of disturbance (e.g. constant activity or noise, unrestrained pets).
- To avoid habitat loss – avoid activities which could kill or damage white gum trees or seedlings (e.g. off-road vehicles, trail-bike riding, horse-riding off formed tracks, lighting of fires).
Check also for listing statement or notesheet pdf above (below the species image).