Page 1

Newsupdate no. 53 – March 2012 “Invisible Me” *

As can be seen from these two photos, the natural camouflage of the Western Ground Parrot works very well when there is greenery about. These are two captive birds (Joy on left and Dawn on right).

Dr Abby Berryman has said that the captive birds are doing very well.

*“Invisible Me” is the title of Wendy Bink’s recent book. (See page 3)

Passing of John Linton In early February we were saddened to learn that John Linton, CEO of telecommunications company Exetel Pty Ltd had passed away suddenly. By all accounts he was a tough businessman. He also cared deeply about threatened flora and fauna, taking to heart the words of the Cree Indian Proverb: Only when the last tree has died, and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught, will we realize that we cannot eat money. In 2009, John Linton read an article by Anne Bondin about the plight of the Western Ground Parrot. He offered to help financially through his company. He was particularly interested in the establishment of captive breeding. The Western Ground Parrot Recovery Team was not ready for a captive breeding programme to be launched, so at first Exetel supported some research into the use of Automated Recording Units for Western Ground Parrot monitoring. Subsequently Exetel has supported the establishment, and later the maintenance, of some captive Western Ground Parrots to ensure that they can be kept in captivity, and this financial help will continue until July. Though we did not meet him, John Linton’s influence on our community Friends group was immense. His generous donations and sense of urgency propelled our small informal community group to become a formally structured organization, to seek incorporation and subsequently tax deductibility. There is no doubt that his actions and example have increased the chance that the Western Ground Parrot will survive as a species. John Linton’s co-director and friend Steve Wadddington has met members of the WGP Recovery Team, and attended our FWGP AGM in 2010. Photo of John on web at; (FWGP Committee)


How our Western Ground Parrots fared in the weather of 2011 By B. Newbey Below is shown how the rainfall and temperatures (maximums and minimums) of 2011 compare with past records. The squares give an approximate location of the WGP populations within Fitzgerald River National Park (F) and Cape Arid National Park (A). The four open circles represent possible additional populations based on recent records (within the last 10 years). Records from the two westernmost sites have not been confirmed as yet. They were in areas known to be historic WGP haunts. Maps are modified from Australian Bureau of Meteorology maps. Rainfall: The Fitzgerald River National Park (FRNP) WGP population is small with the cause of a sharp decline in recent years indeterminate though predation is a likely factor. The “very much above average� rainfall is likely to have benefitted most wildlife there. The Cape Arid National Park (CANP) population should not be unduly stressed by the rain situation in that area. However there can be a cumulative effect if low rainfall (from decile 4 down) persists over more than one year, and this has been happening in 2009 and 2010. (Chris Creighton, Condingup personal comment.)

Maximum temperatures:

CANP has been faced with considerably higher than average maximum temperatures . The FRNP population has not had that problem. The three westernmost possible sites have had an unusually hot year.

Minimum temperatures: Both known population have experienced extraordinarily high minimum temperatures in 2011.

Overall Picture: The CANP population had harsher conditions in 2011 than the FRNP population. The possible remnant birds in the most northerly area of interest where it is normally hotter and drier than along the South Coast, had a very harsh year, further diminishing chances of any survivors. The above average rainfall could have ameliorated the hotter conditions in the two westernmost of the south coast possible sites. The possible site east of CANP is known to have supported some WGPs in the short term. It is believed that this area is the easternmost edge of the WGP range. The limiting factors have not been determined.


“Invisible Me” book review from the West Australian, by 'Writing WA' . "This is the third book by Fremantle artist and author Wendy Binks about the adventures of a curious cross-eyed emu chick called Stripey. In his latest adventure he sets out on a quest to become invisible. All his friends seem to be able to camouflage themselves but Stripey can't. You are invited to join him as he travels from Dingbat Ditch to Fair Dinkum Flats asking friends along the way how to become invisible. Children will delight in trying to find the animals hiding in Binks' vivid illustrations. This is a wonderful book to share with young readers from two to twelve years."

Text of a letter to Wendy Binks from The Duke of Edinburgh’s Private Secretary, Buckingham Palace.

Wendy’s Book “Invisible Me” costs $15. If it is purchased through our group, Wendy will donate a generous $8 from each book to the FWGP. Enquiries to Stephen Fryc (Phone 0403873922). The book also can be bought from the front desk DEC Albany orCondingup Vineyard. Above right is one of the illustrations from the book. © Wendy Binks

I hope you will agree that this is a very interesting photo of a Ground Parrot’s nest. Three chicks can be clearly seen. The photo’s details such as “when was the photo taken ? “, are unknown. What is known is that this is an Eastern Ground Parrot. The editor. Photo by Norman Chaffer © Australian Museum.


I t e m s



Fundraising support: Wendy Binks' book Invisible Me has been selling well and we have already received donations of more than $1500 from Wendy. A big THANK YOU to Wendy! We would also like to thank the Albany Four Wheel Drive Club and Linda Giblett, the organiser of Steve Elson's recent photographic exhibition in Bremer Bay for their donations. The Department of Environment and Conservation donated some obsolete signs to our organisation which we managed to sell at a local scrap metal yard yielding $165. Western Ground Parrot Rescue Fund: The Treasurer reports that generous donations from members have now reached more than $7,500. A big thank you to everyone who has contributed! Can we reach $10,000 by the end of the financial year? Committee vacancy: With regret, we accepted the resignation earlier this month of our Vice-chairperson, Vicky Bilney. If you are a member and would like to take a place on the committee this is an opportunity. Although committee meetings are in Albany, it is possible to participate from far away by means of Skype or other VOIP connection. Our next committee meeting is very soon, on 4 April at 5 pm. Committee meetings are usually two or three months apart. Let our secretary, Dave Taylor, know if you would like to join us. If you are a member in the Albany area and would like to attend a committee meeting as a visitor with no strings attached, please contact our secretary. Fund-raising: One of the topics in our April committee meeting will be fund-raising. Captive management has proved successful but there is no funding for the next stage: the establishment of a captive breeding program. A large amount is needed. One possibility is a fund-raising subcommittee. If you have any suggestions concerning bodies or individuals that might be approached for funding, or if you would be interested in being part of a fundraising campaign, please let us know. Brochure distribution: We now have a good supply of ‘WGP We can save it’ brochures thanks to the Lotterywest Promotional Items grant. If you can place some of these brochures, please let us know. Café Press: With cooler weather coming along it could be time to get a long-sleeved WGP shirt from one of our six Café Press online shops.There are six WGP designs, several styles of shirt, short and long sleeve, and many colours. A percentage of purchases through our online shops, is donated to FWGP. There are many other products available each featuring one of six WGP designs. Goto http://www.western-ground-

Contacts: Brenda Newbey (Chair). Phone (08) 9337 5673 Anne Bondin (Treasurer). Phone (08) 9844 1793 Dave Taylor (Secretary) 0458 502 836 Address: PO Box 5613, Albany, WA 6332 Email: Website: Archive: Previous issues of our newsletter are available online at

Editor: Stephen Fryc Email:

Next issue: May 2012


Friends of the Western Ground Parrot March 2012  

Friends of the Western Ground Parrot Newsletter March 2012

Friends of the Western Ground Parrot March 2012  

Friends of the Western Ground Parrot Newsletter March 2012