EPBC Status: Endangered
SPRAT Species Profile: Botaurus poiciloptilus — Australasian Bittern
Found in: New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia
Threatened Species Strategy Scorecards:
Australasian Bittern Year 3 scorecard 2018 (PDF - 419.83 KB)
Australasian Bittern Year 3 scorecard 2018 (DOCX - 287.95 KB)
Year 3 Scorecard Summary (2018)
The Australasian Bittern is a large, heron-like bird that was once widespread across reedy wetlands of southern Australia but loss and degradation of its preferred habitat caused substantial declines. This has been made worse by the increased frequency and length of droughts, in some places making it possible for fires to damage remaining habitat. Australasian Bittern chicks and juveniles are also vulnerable to predation by foxes.
The largest population now nests in irrigated rice paddies in the Riverina, where industry partners have significantly contributed to recovery activities, including through encouraging rice farmers to use bittern-friendly methods.
Recovery efforts are also focussing on restoring natural wetlands, with active management of reed beds to maximise habitat suitability. Provision of environmental water flows and control of foxes are also important for securing the future of Bitterns.
- Threatened species strategy
- 20 birds by 2020
- 20 mammals by 2020
- 30 plants by 2020
- Three year review of progress on priority bird and mammal species
Please note that this scorecard is due for review in Year 5 of the Threatened Species Strategy (2020). If you would like to contribute information on this species please provide your contact details to ThreatenedSpeciesCommissioner@awe.gov.au
Photo credit: © Matt Herring – Bitterns in Rice Project