The black-throated finch.
The black-throated finch.

Galilee Basin mines threaten black throated finch habitat

A CUTE little finch is feeling the pinch as coalmines threaten to eradicate a huge chunk of its habitat.

The black throated finch stands barely 12cm tall and is easily recognised by its sleek cinnamon, blue, grey and black feathers, and the sunglass-like markings around its eyes.

CSIRO and James Cook University researchers fear the bird is being driven to extinction because Queensland's Galilee Basin mines, including Adani's huge Carmichael project, are a "major threat to 50%" of the finch's "best habitat".

JCU academic Dr April Reside helped complete the first scientific study to examine the cumulative impacts of coalmines on any species.

"The study uses data spanning over 30 years and provides a clear analysis of the landscape used by the finch and the threats to the bird from urban, agricultural and mining development," Dr Reside wrote in this week's Public Library of Science journal.

"The land earmarked for the Carmichael mine is the best remaining habitat for the finch in the world."