Townsville SOE home page

Black Throated Finch
(Southern Subspecies)
Poephila cincta cincta

photo © Ian Montgomery

Species Description

The black-throated finch is a small (~10cm long) bird, with a light-brown body, white belly, grey head, short tail, and dark black throat. They feed off grass seeds, and can often be seen on the ground amongst native grasses in small flocks or pairs.

Photo © Danni Lambert


The black-throated finch historically occurred from north east NSW to Atherton Tablelands, however very few have been sighted south of the tropics since the late 1970’s. Over the last 20 years, there has been a contraction in range by 80%. The black-throated finch is basically considered extinct from NSW. It is currently limited in range with the Townsville region being one of the few areas the species can still be found through out the year. (sites include Ross Dam, Serpentine Lagoon and Oak Valley)

Black-throated Finch Files

Distribution Map (.pdf 120kb) Poster (.pdf 42kb)


Evidence suggests there has been an overall population decline of more than 50%. The most probable reasons for population & range decline are unclear, but current threats include; clearing, grazing (cattle and rabbits), predation by introduced mammals (Fox and Feral Cat) and changes in fire regime. The species is also present in local bird trade (known as ‘Chocolate Parson’) and capture of wild populations for this purpose may be damaging to local stock. These captive birds are unlikely to have much value in terms of stock for reintroduction to the wild.

photo © Ian Montgomery

Photo © Danni Lambert

A recovery team has been established for this species, the Queensland division of which is currently being run out of Townsville:

Bernie Davis, Co-ordinator
Black-throated Finch Recovery Team
bushlandbeach @

Townsville City Council Home PageCouncil's Environment Management Services