The black-breasted button-quail is currently listed as ‘Vulnerable’ under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). It is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) and ‘Endangered’ under the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
The black-breasted button-quail is known to occur in eastern Queensland (Qld) and New South Wales (NSW) from the Byfield region in the north, to the Border Ranges rainforests in the south, generally east of the Great Dividing Range. Some observations have been made on its western slopes, up to 300 km inland at locations such as Palmgrove National Park and Barakula State Forest in Qld.
In north-eastern NSW, the species appears restricted to the Northern Rivers and Tablelands. There have been only 10 reliable yet unconfirmed records from NSW in the past 20 or so years, from six areas in the far north-east of the state.
Black-breasted button-quail are threatened by the following processes or activities:
- Loss of habitat and habitat fragmentation due to clearing for a range of purposes (timber-harvesting and other forestry-related practices, agriculture, infrastructure construction and urban development).
- Habitat degradation as a result of domestic stock and feral pigs utilising black-breasted button-quail habitat.
- Habitat loss or degradation due to inappropriate fire regimes.
- Predation by feral animals.
Objectives of recovery plan
Improve the status of black-breasted button-quail from its current threatened status under state and Commonwealth legislation through protection and management of habitat for extant populations (to secure survival of existing birds), increasing availability and condition of habitat (to provide opportunity for population increase) and pursuit of actions to minimise threats (to protect existing and expanding populations and prevent further loss).
Summary of actions
Actions required for the recovery of the black-breasted button-quail include mapping the habitat of the species; conducting searches for new populations in mapped habitat; developing management practices and protocols for human activities in black-breasted button-quail habitat and regulating land use; protecting areas of habitat and rehabilitating degraded areas; establishing extension activities with landholders and developing a community network; investigating and implementing feral animal control programs; developing research projects; involving traditional owners in the recovery effort; and coordinating and reviewing the recovery process. The estimated total cost of the implementation of recovery actions is $1,366,000.