Patchy early dry season fires important for Gouldian finches
New research has highlighted the importance of good fire regimes for Gouldian Finches. The Endangered birds only feed on grass seed in the tropical savannas of northern Australia. Not enough fire and there won't be enough sorghum grass seed during the breeding season (Mar to Oct). Too much fire and there won't be enough perennial grass seed during the non-breeding season. Too hot fire (late dry season fires) and the heat kills seeds on or close to the surface of the soil reducing grass and seed in the following seasons. Low intensity patchy fires in the early dry season are the best to create enough seed all year for this Endangered species.
Find out more about the research findings in this FACTSHEET.