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Welcome to the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot Newsletter No. 70 Get up-to-date information about the latest efforts to save this critically endangered parrot unique to Western Australia

Western Ground Parrots found at Nuytsland Nature Reserve

Successful survey team (courtesy Sarah Comer / Dept. Parks and Wildlife

Department of Parks and Wildlife Summer 2015-16 update from Integrated Fauna Recovery Team by Sarah Comer & Lucy Clausen

In the aftermath of the October and November bushfires in Cape Arid National Park the Department of Parks and Wildlife Team has been busy with Western Ground Parrot post-fire recovery work. Conducting surveys, monitoring unburnt pockets of vegetation, feral cat control and planning for the future have all been priorities. Feral cat control post-fire has seen two aerial deliveries of the bait EradicatÂŽ through the Western Shield program. The IFRP team has supported this work with both ground baiting and


targeted feral cat trapping around the pockets of unburnt habitat. Apart from those taking baits, an additional 17 feral cats were trapped and removed from this area since the October fires. In Cape Arid National Park the monitoring of the Pasley and Poison Creek populations has been supported by automated recording units (ARUs), which were deployed following the November fires. Analysis of the data collected by these units is a big job, and will be completed over the next few months. Two survey and monitoring trips have been conducted so far this year. In February a team of Department of Parks and Wildlife staff and volunteers trekked out to Point Malcolm on Friday the 26th, where they planned on being based for a week to carry out surveys in the Nuytlsand Nature Reserve. Conditions were marvellous for listening, and the group were delighted on the Sunday morning when a small number of ground parrots were heard. This area was last surveyed in 2014 with no birds detected, and it is likely that these birds may have escaped the fires and found a patch of suitable habitat to settle in. ARUs have been deployed to monitor this area. The Nuytsland survey team was disappointed to have to pack up early, due to another bushfire started by lightning storms during the day, but happy to have heard a few birds. Fortunately none of the three fires started by these storms burnt more ground parrot habitat - a lucky break!

Survey team in Cape Arid National Park (courtesy Graham Zemunik)

March saw the IFRP team lead another trip to Cape Arid, assisted by Department of Parks and Wildlife staff from Esperance and volunteers. This purpose of this trip was to survey the areas surrounding Poison Creek and assist with monitoring of native fauna. Birds were heard during a number of the listening sessions, and Jennene Riggs was there to film some of the highlights of this trip for the documentary “Secrets at Sunrise�. Planning to secure the future of the Western Ground Parrot is under way. At an emergency South Coast Threatened Birds Recovery Team meeting held in January, the team agreed that we should hold a workshop to identify and prioritise emergency interventions for the species. The Department of Parks and Wildlife, in conjunction with the South Coast Threatened Birds Recovery Team and the IUCN Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, will be gathering a group of invited experts from a range of conservation disciplines to provide advice for emergency actions to prevent the extinction of the Critically Endangered Western Ground Parrot at the end of March.


Meet Kyloring - our new mascot

courtesy Catherine Taylor-Burge

You may recall that we were successful last year in receiving a grant from State National Resource Management allowing us to have a Western Ground Parrot costume made. We engaged Catherine Taylor-Burge from KangaPaws who did a wonderful job of creating the costume which is now housed at Perth Zoo and will be used to raise awareness at public events. We have chosen the name Kyloring for the mascot in recognition of the Noongar name of the species. The mascot had its first outing a few weeks ago when Perth Zoo hosted the first ever “Dreamnight�, an event put on by zoos worldwide for ill children and their families. What a fantastic event to be part of.

Kyloring attending Dreamnight (courtesy Perth Zoo)

Sponsorship from Horizon Power / Donation from Harvey Norman Albany The $5,000 sponsorship contribution we received from Horizon Power was used to purchase new SM4 SongMeters making it possible to replace at least some of those units destroyed in the Esperance fires. Faunatech Austbat, the Australian distributor of the recording units, offered a substantial discount allowing us to buy six units instead of five.


When we found out that neither the SD memory cards nor the batteries needed to operate the units were included, Harvey Norman in Albany came to the rescue and donated the items to our organisation. A big thank you to both companies! The new units weigh much less than the older model previously used in the field which is an extra bonus.

Dave Taylor at the handover with Deon Utber, Anne Bondin, Greg Mair and Sarah Comer (courtesy Lucy Clausen)

UPDATE FROM PERTH ZOO by Arthur Ferguson

In early January Perth Zoo was saddened to announce the death of the two Western Ground Parrots which were recently transferred to the Zoo from the wild and still undergoing quarantine. Despite settling into the Zoo exceptionally well, the birds developed a respiratory illness and regardless of the best medical care and treatment, both birds died. Following the death of the two new birds in December, the staff at Perth Zoo have been working hard to ensure the five resident birds remain in good health. The team are now focused heavily on preparing for the upcoming breeding season. We are further tweaking the habitat within the aviaries (see left) to provide plenty of cover and nesting sites, a wild food plant collection system is being devised (following receipt of the requisite permits from the Dept. of Parks and Wildlife), and general aviary maintenance is being done so that disturbance later in the year can be minimised. Based on Dawn’s behaviour the previous two seasons, we are again anticipating that she will be eager to breed and initiate copulation solicitation towards her paired male Joy. We know that Joy is a highly capable male, so fingers crossed he can step up to the mark later this year!


Chirpings from the Chair Dave Taylor

All is not doom and gloom according to an update Sarah Comer (Department of Parks and Wildlife) provided to our committee, following a visit to Cape Arid NP. Numerous calls were heard in unburnt patches of habitat and several sightings were made. This outcome is very positive and we hope the forthcoming field surveys will be as fruitful. Also, during the recent trip, ten feral cats were trapped. This is great in itself but I suspect that for every cat trapped at least five are not. And more great news to hand is that Western Ground Parrot calls were heard in Nuytsland Nature Reserve where they have not been recorded for ten years. Thank you to all the people who volunteered to assist in the forthcoming surveys. The response has been great so it would appear that recognition of the plight of the WGP is becoming more widespread. For those who did not get a place on the survey team, do not be despondent. Further surveys, subject to funding, are planned for spring. The committee is seeking members or friends to assist raise funds for our cause. These may include sausage sizzle type events, quiz nights etc. If you feel you may be able to help, please contact me on 0458502836. The committee has been extremely busy with grant applications. We applied to get funding for further filming, editing etc of “Secrets at Sunrise� through State NRM hoping for the completion of the documentary by the end of winter if successful. We have also applied for a grant from Wildlife Acoustics, the American producer of the automated recording units, hoping to receive an additional five SongMeters. Stationers, Kikke.K have come on board to help us raise funds. Their Garden City Store in Booragoon donated 20% of all sales to the Friends of goods sold between 3.00pm and 6.00pm on Friday 18 March and raised $433 for the Western Ground Parrot Rescue Fund. Many thanks to store owner Eveline Masco and also to her husband Gunther De Vos who helped handing out Western Ground Parrot information. Many thanks also to everyone else who has made donations to the Western Ground Parrot Rescue Fund. We have now raised in excess of $20,000 in response to our post-fire appeal. We have received an invitation to attend the Creating a Future for the Western Ground Parrot workshop hosted by the Department of Parks and Wildlife in Perth at the end of the month. I will be attending the workshop together with our Secretary, Anne Bondin. This workshop will bring together experts from a range of conservation disciplines to discuss emergency actions to prevent the extinction of the Western Ground Parrot. To support the workshop we lodged a sponsorship application with Virgin Australia in order to get free air fares for interstate and overseas participants of the workshop. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful. One Perth hotel, the Holiday Inn, offered rooms at a discounted rate. We have made a small donation to the Department of Parks and Wildlife to help cover some of the costs associated with the running the workshop. Sponsorship or in-kind support for the workshop has also come from WWF, BirdLife WA , South Coast NRM, Bush Heritage, BirdLife Australia, Department of the Environment, Charles Darwin University and Perth Zoo. I would like to take this opportunity and also thank all those members living in Perth who generously offered accommodation to out-of-town visitors in their own homes. Stop press: The Western Ground Parrot will feature on Today Tonight Perth on Good Friday.


Contacts: Chairperson: David Taylor Phone: 0458 502836 Secretary: Anne Bondin Phone: (08) 9844 1793 Email: wgparrot@gmail.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/

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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

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Fotwgp newsletter march 2016  

Friends of the Western Ground Parrot Newsletter March 2016.

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