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Newsupdate No. 39 - November 2009

Exetel donation allows Captive Management Project to proceed by Anne Bondin

We are very happy to announce that Exetel's generosity has provided a major boost to our efforts to save the Western Ground Parrot. Exetel have started to make monthly donations to Birds Australia which will be used to co-fund a Captive Management Project supervised by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC). A few months ago the future of the Western Ground Parrot Recovery Project looked bleak. Much of the government funding was drying up in the wake of the global financial crisis. There was little hope of receiving sufficient funding to secure the employment of the project officer, let alone paying for something as expensive as captive management. When Exetel stepped forward with its offer to help we all felt a tremendous sense of relief realising that the Western Ground Parrot hadn't been forgotten after all. There is no question that all of us are immensely grateful for Exetel's financial support. As you are probably aware Western Ground Parrots have never been kept in captivity before. There are considerable challenges setting up a project like this. Advice has been obtained from a wide variety of experts including Perth Zoo, aviculturists as well as

staff involved in the captive-breeding of the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot. Following expert advice modified enclosures in Albany will be used to temporarily house the birds after their initial arrival. Later, they will be moved into purpose-built aviaries which are being funded by the government and are yet to be erected. Project staff which includes former Western Ground Parrot research officer, Brent Barrett, who has come all the way from New Zealand to assist, are presently out in the field attempting to capture Western Ground Parrots. The birds to be kept in captivity will be taken from the Cape Arid population. If possible, an attempt will be made to also capture birds from Fitzgerald National Park. With only a handful of ground parrots left in this area this is going to be enormously difficult. However, having available birds for breeding from two different populations will offer a much better chance to protect the genetic diversity of the species. If anyone is keen to assist with the field work, please get in touch with project leader, Abby Berryman. Contact details: PH: 0429 852 451 or E-mail:

Exetel visit to the South Coast by Abby Berryman & Anne Bondin

In August Steve Waddington, a director from Exetel, was in Albany for business and made some time to meet with members of the Friends of the WGP and Department of Environment and Conservation staff working on the WGP recovery project. For the past few months, Exetel have generously provided funding to trial Autonomous Recording Units (ARUs) for use in monitoring WGP populations. Check out Steve’s blog for his impressions about the project: ( In addition to showing Steve the ARUs and demonstrating the role they have in monitoring WGP populations, we also had the chance to discuss ways in which Exetel could continue to support the WGP recovery project.

Steve Waddington and Anne Bondin at Waychinicup

The great news is that Exetel intends to provide much-needed funds for the captive management of WGPs in partnership with the Department of Environment and Conservation. The company's philosophy is to use a portion of its profits to help some of Australia's most endangered animals to survive. We are very privileged that the Western Ground Parrot was chosen by Exetel as one of those wild creatures worth saving. The Friends group have been instrumental in attracting the Exetel funding and we look forward to a productive collaboration between Exetel, the Friends of the WGP, Birds Australia and the Department of Environment and Conservation.

Albany Show – Volunteers needed The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) will again have a stall at the Albany Show this year. Our group has been invited to display information about the Western Group Parrot. It would be good to have volunteers on hand to man the display and answer questions from show visitors. The show will take place on 13th and 14th November. If you are interested in helping out, please get in touch with Anne. Volunteers will be able to enter the show free of charge using a volunteer pass. Membership fees

The Treasurer reports that some membership fees are still outstanding. If you happen to be one of those members who has forgotten to pay the fee, please make sure to do so as soon as possible or your membership will lapse. Please pay the $10 annual subscription into the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot bank account held at Westpac's Albany branch: BSB: 036-168

A/C: 298423

If you prefer to pay by cheque, please make it payable to the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot. Also, please make sure to indicate who the payment is from when making an electronic transfer.

Who can help solve this mystery?

On 5 August the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot account was credited with a $10 deposit via Netbank. Unfortunately, the only description appearing on our bank statement is “membership fee.” Could the member who transferred this deposit please contact us, so we can find out who the mystery payee is? Treasurer resigned Sam Hart who has done a wonderful job in dealing with the financial requirements of the group was forced to resign from her position as Treasurer for personal reasons. We are very sorry that Sam is unable to continue in her role and wish her all the best. The Committee asked Anne Bondin to act as Treasurer until a new Treasurer can be elected at the next General Meeting. Incorporation update The Secretary has lodged the application to become incorporated with the Department of Commerce. We expect to receive our Certificate of Incorporation before the end of the month. The group has also registered for an ABN with the Australian Tax Office and has since been issued the following ABN 84 982 620 043. Once we are incorporated we will be able to apply for Government and Lotteries commission grants.

Donations We would like to thank all those members who have made donations to the Friends group. The committee has decided to use the donated funds to help pay for a Western Ground Parrot display at Perth Zoo. Perth Zoo Display Talks have been held with Perth Zoo regarding an information display about the Western Ground Parrot. The Zoo has agreed to make available space for a display unit which will be designed in consultation with the Recovery Team. We hope this will introduce the bird to a much wider audience. The Australian Zookeepers Association is presently seeking nominations for an annual fundraising competition to help endangered species. We have entered a nomination for the Western Ground Parrot hoping to get some funds to pay for the zoo display, so please keep your fingers crossed!

Contacts: Brenda Newbey (Chair). Phone (08) 9337 5673 Anne Bondin (Vice Chair). Phone (08) 9844 1793 Deon Utber (Secretary) Phone (08) 9844 8863 Address: PO Box 5613, Albany, WA 6332 Email: Website: Archive: Previous issues of the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot newsletters are available online at: Editor: Anne Bondin

November 2009 #39  

wgparrot newsletter

November 2009 #39  

wgparrot newsletter