Nature conservation

Threatened species

Amytornis striatus striatus - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Amytornis striatus striatus
Conservation status in NSW: Critically Endangered
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 05 Aug 2022
Profile last updated: 12 Aug 2022


The Striated Grasswren is similar in appearance to the related fairy-wrens (Malurus spp.), though significantly larger in size (14.5 - 18.5 centimetres). The upperparts are a soft reddish-brown, with white streaks while the underparts are buff with heavy white streaking on the breast. The eyebrow is rufous-brown and a heavy black whisker-streak is present. The throat is white, the bill blackish and legs bluish-grey. The tail is long and held cocked and is blackish-brown in colour. The sexes differ slightly in plumage with the female having pale chestnut flanks. Immatures are slightly duller.


This species is widely distributed through the arid and semi-arid regions of mainland Australia, with three subspecies currently recognised. In NSW, the race striatus was formerly distributed from the Namoi Valley area through the southern half of the Murray-Darling Basin. It is now currently known from only two disjunct localities. In central NSW, populations remain extant in Yathong Nature Reserve and surrounding areas of leasehold land. A second population occurs in south-western NSW in the Scotia Mallee west of the Darling River, including Tarawi NR, Scotia Sanctuary and adjoining properties. This population is contiguous with populations in adjoining mallee country in South Australia.

Habitat and ecology

  • Confined to areas with well-developed Porcupine Grass (Triodia irritans), usually in association with mallee eucalypts and sandy soils.
  • Is known to reoccuppy burnt vegetation 6 to 8 years following fire and prefers areas with large hummocks of spinifex which is greatest 25 to 40 years post-fire.
  • Feeds on the ground upon small invertebrates and seeds.
  • Nests are a substantial dome of interwoven grasses, bark and spinifex, well-hidden towards the top of a spinifex clump.
  • Usually recorded in pairs, though sometimes in small parties, and first often detected by its call. Can be shy and difficult to observe, though may also be inquisitive and respond to observers, particularly during the breeding season.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Cobar PeneplainBarnato Downs Known None
Cobar PeneplainCanbelego Downs Predicted None
Murray Darling DepressionDarling Depression Known East of Ivanhoe and West of Kidman Way
Murray Darling DepressionSouth Olary Plain Known None
Other StateQLD Known None
Other StateSA Known None
Other StateVIC Known None
RiverinaLachlan Predicted North of the Hillston to Mossgiel Road