Distribution, status and habitat of the Red Goshawk Erythrotriorchis radiatus in Queensland

Field surveys of the Red Goshawk Erythrotriorchis radiatus were conducted in south-east Queensland in 1995 and again in 2001; in northern Queensland in 1999; and on Cape York Peninsula in 2000. In south-eastern Queensland, Red Goshawks were found at 25 localities in 1995, representing at least 10–12 (possibly up to 16) resident pairs; breeding was suspected but not confirmed at one site. In 2001, records representing 15–16 pairs were obtained, with breeding confirmed at one site, reported in prior years at a second site, and confirmed at another site after the survey in 2003. In northern Queensland, Red Goshawks were found or reported at 23 localities in the eastern parts, representing 5–8 pairs (one with a fledgling), and three nests (one active) were found. On Cape York Peninsula, Red Goshawks were found at 20 localities. The records included nine pairs and three active nests; most of these (including the active nests) were in central and eastern parts of the Peninsula. Red Goshawks inhabit biodiverse, extensive, multi-species mosaics of mainly eucalypt-dominated open forests and woodlands, in permanently watered, varied terrain, and nest high (>20 m) in emergent trees with an open limb and canopy structure. The Queensland population is estimated at up to 135–140 pairs (10–30 in the south-east, 30–35 in the north-east, and 60–70 on Cape York Peninsula). Identified key threats include habitat clearance, logging of nesting habitat, and loss or degradation of freshwater wetlands. Recommendations for the species’ conservation and management include further survey and monitoring, and ecological research.

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