Welcome to the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot Newsletter No. 71 Get up-to-date information about the latest efforts to save this critically endangered parrot unique to Western Australia
A Winter of Hope
A New Format for Newsletters The friends are continuing to improve there communication methods and the new format of the newsletter using MailChimp is our latest development. This will allow us to provide you with newsletters with link to content such as websites, video content and much more. Visitors to the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot website will be able to subscribe to the newsletter. PDF Copies of the will still be available on the website and if you want to unsubscribe you can click the link at the bottom of the newsletter (though we will miss you).
June 2016 – a brighter future for the western ground parrot? By Parks and Wildlife - Sarah C, Allan B, Abby, T & Lucy C
Some three months from the March IFRP/Parks and Wildlife report to the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot, the collaborative work of the Parks and Wildlife’s IFRP team, South Coast Threatened Birds Recovery Team, and numerous organisations and individuals is shining a slightly brighter light on the prospects for Kyloring’s future, and there are good reasons to be more optimistic than we might have been feeling last year. In the short time since the October and November 2015 bushfires burned through most of the known ground parrot habitat there has been an incredible pulling together of minds and commitment to tackle the overwhelming impact these fires have had on ground parrots. Early considerations of the impact on the parrots led to the suggestion that we should pursue the idea of asking for advice from outside the Department. Following discussions that Manda Page then had with Caroline Lees from the IUCN Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, the South Coast Threatened Birds Recovery Team agreed at the emergency meeting in January that we should pursue the idea of the workshop mentioned in the last newsletter, which was actually held in Perth late in March. The small working group, led by Caroline Lees and coordinated by Manda Page ended up pulling together a formidable group of some 30 experts from New Zealand and Australia. All of these individuals have considerable expertise in very different conservationbased disciplines, and the ideas for future actions that came out of the workshop are inspiring. As an example of the depth of input, we had people working with Kakapo and representing the New Zealand Kakapo Recovery Team, who have faced some extremely challenging times. Others have had years of experience with Orange Bellied Parrots, both captive breeding and management in the wild. At the moment the editorial team (Caroline, Manda, Fran Stanley, Allan Burbidge and Sarah Comer) are collating comments from participants, and hope to get the final workshop report on line as soon as possible.
Image: WGP Workshop Participants
In the meantime, we can share the vision for the future of the ground parrot, which was drafted by a small group of participants (some of the visiting experts) and fully supported by the bigger group. This encapsulates both the remarkable sense of how important our western ground parrot is but also the flagship it represents in landscape scale conservation efforts:
The year is 2040. The community values Western Ground Parrots and we have multiple, selfsustaining and resilient wild populations that are effectively managed as an integral component of our landscape. As a symbol of a healthy ecosystem, their calls once again herald the start and end of each day in Western Australiaâ€™s biologically rich heathlands. The successful recovery of the Western Ground Parrot provides inspiration, hope and a blueprint for the communityâ€™s efforts to conserve biodiversity, and shows that we can and should prevent extinction. Thanks to all the participants for their energy and enthusiasm for this workshop, and to the organisations who provided the funding that allowed it to happen: Parks and Wildlife, WWF Australia, BirdLife WA, Friends of the Western Ground Parrot, the Department of the Environment and South Coast NRM. On the tail end of the workshop, the IFRP team have been busy. The Pasley monitoring trip was conducted just a week after the workshop, following on from the two trips reported in the last newsletter. The clear open sky nights made for a few chilly mornings, as we surveyed for Western Ground Parrots in the strip of vegetation between the October and November fire scars and off Fisheries Track, in Cape Arid National Park. As the sun rose and set throughout the week all members of the monitoring team enjoyed some great calling events, some in unexpected areas. This trip provided us with a great opportunity to test the new Songmeter4 (SM4) Automatic Recording Units (ARUs) that the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot Group had acquired, and collect some SM2 ARUs that had been in the field since November 2015. At the end of the week everyone was smiling, as it was another successful monitoring trip.
Image: SM4 compared to the SM2
Unfortunately wet weather prevented any surveys from happening in the Fitz this autumn. High levels of over 100 millimetres of rain covered the park during late March, restricting access due to dieback risk and the bogging potential. Wet conditions that continued through April and May will have a positive flow-on effect to the park and its inhabitants. There was a significant effort needed to retrieve all of the ARUs, which included a number deployed through the large unburnt patch of vegetation to the east of the Cape Arid fires. The team are still working on the massive job of sorting through both the monitoring data collected from ARUs during the Cape Arid trips, survey data from ARUs and listening sessions and analysing stomach contents from the feral cats removed from the burn boundaries. To date there been some exciting moments reviewing the ARU data, with birds detected on units to the east of the fires and to the south of the area where the Nuystland survey team detected birds (see last newsletter). It is wonderful to think that there may be another small pocket of birds out there, and while there is still work to be done to locate the roosting areas and establish if these birds are breeding, results to date have been very encouraging. We're doing our best to stay on track to fulfil the vision developed at the workshop!
What's been happening at the Perth Zoo?
The Perth zoo have been continuing to maintain the WGP in captivity and recently participated in the WGP Conservation Workshop. Below are a number of images of the WGPs that the zoo has provided that show how well the WGP can blend in with its environment!!
Check out the trailer for the Secrets at Sunrise documentary for which we recently received funding for from State NRM to finalise production: https://vimeo.com/164201123
Some Words from a Young Supporter Below is a speech that twelve year old Zavier Utber wrote for a persuasive writing school assignment. Zavier is the son of committee member (and current acting secretary while Anne is away in Sweden) and is trying to persuade his class mates why they should support the Western Ground Parrot.
Hi, today I am going to speak to you about the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot. I am going to cover how the group are helping to save this critically endangered species and a little about the parrot its self. The western ground parrot (Pezoporus flaviventris) is found in both the Fitzgerald River National Park and the Cape Arid National Park where it spends most of its time on the ground feeding on seeds and flowers and nesting. One of the main causes of the parrot’s decline is the huge amount of feral animals like cats and foxes that prey on the parrot. Cat and fox baits are being used in ground parrot recorded areas to lessen the amount of feral animals. Another major problem has been big bush fires that come though and completely destroy their natural habitat. Some of the things that are being done to either prevent this or help the parrot through tough times are better fire management to protect the Western Ground Parrot and also keeping parrots in captive breeding programs in Perth. The Friends of the Western Ground Parrot (WGP) also help by raising awareness for the WGP. One way they do this is on Facebook where they have posted lots of pictures and videos supporting the Western Ground Parrot. There is also a documentary being filmed at the moment called Secrets at Sunrise about the Western Ground Parrot and the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot are supporting it by putting money towards the production of the film hoping that it will raise awareness for the parrot. The Friends have a tent at the Albany show were they hand out brochures and sign up members. The group recently got a State Natural Resource Management (NRM) community grant which they used to get a western ground parrot costume made to raise awareness about the western ground parrot and it is currently being held in Perth Zoo. My dad works for the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) and has been with the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot since 2009. He says that he is extremely proud to have worked with the group towards saving this absolutely magnificent creature. He also met heaps of great people who are working towards the same goal as him and being a volunteer has given him a lot of new experiences. The western ground parrot is on the brink of extinction, on the border between life and death. This is why we need you. If you want to help save this awe inspiring bird, there is many different ways you can help. Going on listening surveys can be especially important seeing as we can’t treat the problem if we don’t know how many parrots’ there are. Or Even if its just a donation it’s still going towards saving the western ground parrot. So please help save this amazing but extremely rare bird by volunteering your time today and pull the western ground parrot back from the brink. I've told you about the western ground parrot and how you can help so all that’s left now is for you to get out there and help save the Western Ground Parrot.
Chirpings from the Chair Dave Taylor
As Chair of the Friends, I am making a plea to all members to contact your local sitting State Member of Parliament to lobby for their assistance to stop the Western Ground Parrot being added to the list of extinct birds of Australia. How can you do this? Send an email, make a phone call and remind them of the predicament that the bird is in. Also, at the same time ask why does it take so long (3 months after decision date) for a State National Resource Management grant application to sit on members desks to be given consideration. Yes, that is how long it has taken to time of writing. Decisions should have been announced at end of March. Despite emails and phone calls to various members and particularly to those that grant applications are decided, in this instance Faragher, Day, Nalder and Jacobs, not one has had the common decency to return or acknowledge my contact. It took less than 24 hours for the Federal Ministerâ€™s secretary to follow up on my email. Unfortunately, Federal Members have very little sway over State Members. The Friends need money to save the Western Ground Parrot from extinction. Funds give us the opportunity to continue further surveys in known and unknown locations in conjunction with the Department of Parks and Wildlife. (DPaW) Post October and November fires in Cape Arid have proven that some birds have survived. Further work is required to ascertain numbers and locations and if sufficient to capture further birds for captive breeding and if successful, release back to the wild to further enhance declining numbers. To this end, DPaW are hamstrung with lack of funding to carry out critical Spring surveys and the future of the Integrated Fauna Recovery Team that is so dedicated and professionally experienced in their roles, is teetering on collapse. We need your support to ensure this does not occur. Should you have family, relatives and friends or know of any person that can influence our political members, please ask them to assist our cause. At time of print our State NRM grant has been approved for a lesser amount than applied for but nevertheless well worth receiving. Certain conditions are to be met prior to the grant proceeding and committee members will be meeting to ensure the conditions can be met. Thanks to all those who rallied to our cause and to State NRM for its generous approval. On a more happier not, I am pleased to advise that the Workshop: Creating a Future for the Western Ground Parrot held at Department of Parks and Wildlife over 30 March to 1 April was in my opinion a great success but only time will tell should all the outcomes be achieved. The Workshop was attended by intra, interstate and overseas people generally considered experts in their relative fields. I felt it was an honor to be invited as Chair of the Friends and participate in the workshop. The final report should be due for release in the near future. Please note that with the fast approaching end to the financial year, all donations to the Friends are tax deductible. In the meantime, stay warm and dry.
Contacts: Chairperson: David Taylor Phone: 0458 502836 Secretary: Anne Bondin Phone: (08) 9844 1793 Email: email@example.com Mailing address: PO Box 5613, Albany, WA 6332 A printable copy of the newsletter can be downloaded from our website Previous issues of our newsletter are available online at http://wgpnewsletters.blogspot.com/ Western Ground Parrot history blog: http://westerngroundparrothistory.blogspot.com.au/
Donate online: https://www.givenow.com.au/groundparrot Donate by direct deposit: Friends of the Western Ground Parrot Westpac/ Albany BSB: 036-168 A/C: 317989 Donate by cheque: Please mail a cheque in the name of our organisation copyright Friends of the Western Ground Parrot
Friends of the Western Ground Parrot Newsletter August 2016.