Brown Treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus) - a vulnerable species

Brown treecreeper

The Brown Treecreeper is grey-brown in colour, 160–180 mm in length, with a grey-brown crown, short buff eyebrow and a slight dark line through the eye. The throat and upper breast is plain mouse-grey, cut off by black-edged, pale buff streaks on underparts. A distinctive buff wingbar is visible in flight.

The species is sedentary, occupying permanent territories. It is usually observed in pairs or family groups. Typically, it breeds cooperatively and the breeding group consists of a breeding pair and a few subordinate males. Nests comprise cups of grass and bark lined with fur and feathers, built in a hollow limb or trunk.

The species forages both on the ground and in live and dead trees feeding and feeds on a variety of invertebrate prey.

Critical habitat features include:

  • relatively undisturbed grassy woodland with native understorey
  • large living and dead trees which are essential for roosting and nesting sites and for foraging
  • fallen timber which provides essential foraging habitat.

The Brown Treecreeper is found in sub-coastal environments and the inland slopes of the Great Dividing Range from the Grampians in western Victoria, through central New South Wales to the Queensland border and north to the Bunya Mountains.

In the ACT, the species is found in dry woodlands and open forest below 1000 m, including in the Clear Range and along the Lower Naas River, Campbell Park, Goorooyarroo, Burbong, former quarries south of the airport, and Castle Hill, north of Tharwa.

Conservation threats

  • Removal of fallen timber and litter.
  • Predation by feral and/or uncontrolled domestic animals.
  • Invasion of key habitats by introduced pasture and weeds.
  • Inappropriate fire regimes.
  • Uncontrolled grazing by livestock.
  • Clearing of both living and dead trees.
  • Rural tree dieback.
  • Use of chemicals.

Conservation actions

  • Identification of key habitats and potential habitats.
  • Protection and management of habitat including:
    • maintenance and enhancement of connectivity
    • limitation on removal of live and dead timber
    • prevention of intensive grazing
    • regeneration of habitat
    • minimisation of adverse effects of fire
    • minimisation of nest hollow competition.
  • Monitoring long term trends and status.
  • Research into the ecology and conservation requirements of the species.
  • Liaison to achieve regional approach to conservation.
  • Education and community liaison to raise community awareness.

This information is sourced from Action Plan 18, published in 1999.