|Botaurus||poiciloptilus||AU||sw, se Australia, New Zealand|
Botaurus is a genus of bitterns, a group of wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae. It has a single representative species in each of North America, Central and South America, Eurasia and Australasia. The two northern species are partially migratory, with many birds moving south to warmer areas in winter. The four Botaurus bitterns are all large chunky, heavily streaked brown birds which breed in large reedbeds. They are secretive and well-camouflaged, and despite their size they can be difficult to observe except for occasional flight views.
Listen to the sound of Australasian Bittern
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
|wingspan min.:||105||cm||wingspan max.:||118||cm|
|size min.:||66||cm||size max.:||76||cm|
|incubation min.:||23||days||incubation max.:||27||days|
|fledging min.:||60||days||fledging max.:||66||days|
Video Australasian Bittern
In New Zealand, the estimated population was between 580-725 individuals in 1980. The population on New Caledonia is not thought to exceed 50 individuals. Following apparently rapid declines, the Australian population is now thought to number fewer than 1,000 mature individuals. In Australia and New Zealand, the main threats are wetland drainage for agriculture, as well as changes brought about by high levels of grazing and salinisation of swamps. In Australia, the species appears able to adapt to the availability of ephemeral wetlands, but is likely to be particularly sensitive to the destruction of drought refugia. Loss of these habitats may explain its decline in Western and South Australia. The Murray-Darling basin, a former stronghold of the species, has suffered consecutive droughts in recent years and over-extraction of water is an ongoing problem. Shooting and flying into powerlines are additional contributory causes2, but hunting pressure is very low.