Distribution

The family Estrildidae is an Old World family with a natural distribution around and south of the equator in the Ethiopian, Oriental, and Australasian biogeographic regions. Most species within this family can be found in Africa. The negro-finches and flowerpecker weaver-finches can be found in equatorial east central Africa. The olive-backs have very small, often patchily distributed ranges within central Africa. The other Africa-endemic groups have more diversified ranges. These include the pytilias, the multiple genera of twinspots, the crimson-wings, the seedcrackers, the bluebills, the firefinches, the waxbills, the quailfinches, the cordon-bleus (Uraeginthus spp.), and the two species in the genus Amadina. The munias and mannikins have radiated throughout Africa, including Madagascar, across southern Asia, and into Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, and surrounding islands. The parrotfinches are concentrated in Southeast Asia throughout its many islands as well as the mainland. Some species have a very limited range sometimes consisting of only a single island, a major disadvantage to the conservation of a species when a threat to its population arises. Australia, like Africa, has its own set of endemic estrildid groups. These in clude the grassfinches, the firetails, the two species within Neochmia, as well as the monotypic genera Chloebia and Aidemosyne. Introduced populations of several estrildid species have been established throughout the world from either intentional releases or from escaped captive birds.

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