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Newsupdate no. 38 September 2009

Final population monitoring trip of the year

Buoyed on by the news in May that staff involved in the cat baiting trials had heard Ground Parrots, I approached this latest trip with renewed optimism. Last season we drew a blank for this sub population in the north of Fitzgerald River National Park which sadly has reflected the rapid and widespread decline of the species throughout the park. Once again this trip has supported the argument that this season has proved more challenging than the last. The main protagonist this time was the weather. Almost for the entire ten days strong winds blew through the camp rendering listening conditions ineffective. Allied to this was the fact we had sufficient rainfull for the Head Ranger to close the park for several days. Luckily the rain didn’t hamper us too much in terms of dieback hygiene. The substrate consists of sandy soils and many of the listening spots were within walkable range. Unfortunately some of our camping gear didn’t stand up to the rigours of the weather. The toilet tent was first to go. The canopy of the main tent swiftly followed.

Some of the poles to the canopy had unseated themselves and pushed through the canvas creating several sizeable rips. Two of the burners on the stove then gave out and we were forced to cook inside and almost will the food to cook itself. Most of the time was spent cowering inside the battered tent. Which is just as well as we were all on the scene when a particularly nasty storm hit us. Six people were quickly called into action and, with controlled(?) hysteria and contorted limbs mobilized into tantric positions, a human frame for our collapsible tent was hastily assembled. It was seven nights into our trip when we heard birds for the first time. One bird (possibly two in the same place although no female D-calls heard) was calling close by. It was in a gully in swamp country in species poor habitat. There would have been suitable thickets for roosting in and more typical, richer heathland communities nearby for feeding. Another pair were heard duetting further off and so 3-4 individuals was our best estimate. And these remained the only birds we heard. Despite the hardships endured I would like to thank Chris Powell and all the vollies for their first class attitudes and positive spirits. It was certainly a rude introduction to the frustrating world of a Ground Parrot Researcher and they coped very well. Thanks also to Abby (back in Albany) for providing valuable support with weather updates and sympathetic noises although I wish she could have joined us and ‘enjoyed’ the friendly environs!

A step closer to incorporation The membership has adopted the changes to the constitution, so we can now go ahead and start the process to incorporate the association. To comply with the law, we have advertised our intent to incorporate in the West Australian newspaper and after 30 September 2009 we can lodge the required paperwork with the Department of Commerce. All going to plan we expect to receive our certificate of incorporation by the end of October.

Cards and Postcards CARDS and POSTCARDS

$1.00 each plus postage Postage: Cards 1 - 4 .65 cents 5-9 $1.30 10 - 15 $1.85 Postcards 1 - 8 .65 cents 9 - 20 $1.30

Or 5 Cards and 5 postcards for $10


Postage free


Contact: Val Hack 0409 443 331 or email:


NEW WEBSITE Thanks to Exetel's generosity the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot now have their own website. Not only have Exetel made available webspace on their server, they have also registered our domain name free-of-charge. We hope the website allows us to alert a wider audience to the fact that our Western Ground Parrot is only a heartbeat away from extinction. Apart from general information about the bird, the site also features pictures, bird calls and video clips. So, if this has made you curious about the new website, please visit .

Reminder Oops, some of you have not yet paid the annual membership fee. No problem if you have forgotten. Better late than never. Please pay your $10 subscription into the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot bank account held with Westpac and include your name in the narration: BSB: 036-168

A/C: 298423

If you want to pay by cheque, please make it payable to the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot. If you need a copy of the membership form, please click here to download it:

STOP PRESS Great news! Exetel have just announced their intention to help fund a captive management project. This is incredibly generous considering that they are only a very small company. More details in the next newsletter. Video on YouTube Brent Barrett has produced a short WGP video that is well worth a look.

Archive All the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot news updates from June 2005 onwards have been placed in a blog for easy reference. The address is

Web Site Birds Australia has a web page for the Western Ground Parrot. Go to and then access Projects, and Western Ground Parrot.

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, 6332 Email: The next issue of the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot news update is due in late October or early November 2009. Feedback is welcome.

September 2009 #38  

september, newsletter

September 2009 #38  

september, newsletter