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Newsupdate no. 60 – September 2013

Funds Raised for the Western Ground Parrot

All who read this newsletter should be very proud of these four young volunteers who raised the impressive amount of $400 for the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot. Beth, Lucy, Emily and Charlotte from the Armadale Primary School with the help of their teacher Mrs Mady Colquhoun endeavoured to help save the WGP through two fundraising efforts. Mady initially received a WGP information pack from FWGP and was soon after approached by the girls who were determined to help. It was a tremendous effort and really needs to be applauded in every way. A very heartfelt thank Beth, Lucy, Emily and Charlotte

you to the girls and to Mady for making this successful science project possible.


2013 Perth Royal Show Friends of the WGP are combining with Birdlife Australia WA to run a stall at this year’s Perth Royal Show. The show starts on Saturday 28 September and continues until Saturday 5 October. Our stall is in a different location to the one we had in 2011. This time it will be towards the North-West corner of the showground, off Gorrie Avenue, near the sheep dog yard and south of the Brownes’ Dairy Pavillion. Please come and visit us. A map of the show can be downloaded from the Perth Royal Show website at;

Friends’ Donation to the Western Ground Parrot Recovery Project In September the FWGP was able to meet a request for financial help from the South Coast Threatened Birds Recovery Team. We provided a $10,000 donation to support the Recovery Project. The funds will be used for maintenance of the captive birds. A link to the DPaW media release is: DPaW - Department of Parks and Wildlife, is replacing Department of Environment and Conservation. The new DPaW logo did not arrive in time for this issue.

Photo: Saul Cowen

Pictured at the official cheque handover: Deon Utber (DPaW/Committee Member FWGP), Bruce Bone (Regional Manager DPaW Albany), Sarah Comer (Chair of Recovery Team/DPaW), Anne Bondin (Secretary/Treasurer FWGP), Dave Taylor (Chairman FWGP)

Captives and Field Work Our December issue will have more information about the captive birds and about the ongoing field work to monitor and protect the wild population of Western Ground Parrots.


Art Competition – Win $500 In recent weeks we have received a number of artworks featuring the Western Ground Parrot. We believe artwork is an excellent tool to spread the word about our feathered friends and have decided to hold an art competition. It will be launched at the Perth Royal Show this week. So, if you can paint, draw or create digital images, get to work! To be eligible the artwork needs to depict the Western Ground Parrot or parts thereof, examples being feathers or head. There is no limit to the number of artworks you can enter. You can either e-mail your entry as a JPEG file or send us a hard copy (no bigger than A4 format, please – otherwise it can't be scanned) to our mailing address. You can email your entry to Hard copies of entries can be mailed to: PO Box 5613, Albany, WA 6332 The prize for the winning entry is a $500 Visa gift card (which we received thanks to the generosity of Mike Booth). Second prize is a T-shirt featuring the Western Ground Parrot. Everyone, with the exception of the committee members, will be able to enter the competition. Deadline for the competition is the 20th of October. The ten best entries will be posted on our Facebook page and the artwork with the most “Likes” is going to be the winning entry. The winners will be announced on Facebook on the 28th of October as well as in the next newsletter. The winners will be notified by mail.

This artwork, created by Selina Crowe, inspired us to hold the art competition. We are sure you agree with our decision to accept it as the first entry into the competition.

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow. A fictional story continued from the last Newsletter By Peter Stewart Moving cautiously he seeks a higher branch, just a few more calls so there is no mistake – HIS territory, HE has food for a mate, HE will protect. The sun is now higher and calling must stop but our WGP has memorized the location of his soon to be mate, the Breakaway just north of Queelup, as the humans called his place. And humans are part of his knowledge, both from his own ancient lineage and of this season. He has heard and seen them, standing sentinel like in the fading light of spring. Quiet but still noisy,with their awkward coverings and heavy feet. The day is progressing fast and he now travels stealthily while stopping only to eat. Full Part Two of the Story at : 3

From the FWGP Committee Have you paid your membership fee? If you have forgotten to pay your $10 membership fee, it is not too late. You can either make a direct deposit to our account with Westpac (BSB: 036-168 A/C: 298423) or send us a cheque. We need your support to continue our work!

AGM We will be holding our AGM on Tuesday, 22 October at 2:30pm. South Coast NRM have kindly made available their conference room at 39 Mercer Road in Albany at no charge to us. We have invited Sarah Comer and Abby Berryman from the Department of Parks and Wildlife as guest speakers. They will provide an update on the Recovery Project. Guests are more than welcome to attend our meeting.

Fund-raising Our fund-raising efforts have perhaps not been as successful as we had hoped. We have not been able to attract the kind of donations required to set up a Captive Breeding Project. However, we have had a number of very generous private donations to the Western Ground Parrot Rescue Fund in recent months and would like to express our gratitude to everyone who has given their support. All donations help, no matter how small! We would like to give a special mention to the generosity of AEG Ogden Perth Arena who have raised an incredible $10,000 for the Western Ground Parrot Rescue Fund through the sale of Mt Franklin bottled water during the Disney on Ice Events at Perth Arena in July. A big thank-you also goes to our member Mike Booth who has been working behind the scenes to make this happen.

Children’s Colouring-in competition (completely separate from Art Competition on p. 3) We would like to thank Wendy Binks for generously making available a copy of her book “Invisible Me” as a prize for the winner of our colouring-in competition which will be launched at the Perth Royal Show. (“Invisible Me” is a children’s book. The theme is camouflage and the central character, Stripey the Emu chick, meets several well-concealed Australian creatures including Toot the Western Ground Parrot.)

Special Thanks Apart from the generous donations we received in recent months, a special mention needs to go to accountant Gary Schwab from Denmark who has audited our books free-of-charge. Gary deserves a huge thank-you, not only for providing his work at no cost to us, but also for carrying out the audit on short notice, so that we were able to meet the deadline for the renewal of our charity collections license.

History Blog Are you interested in the fascinating Western Ground Parrot story prior to 2009? A Western Ground Parrot history blog was started in August. Much of the information recorded about Ground Parrots since the arrival of Europeans to the shores of Australia will be gradually accumulated. There will ultimately be most focus on Western Ground Parrots, but some of the early postings relate to Eastern Ground Parrots. So far, postings have included early natural history observations, first photos (black and white, and colour), finding Western Ground Parrot nests (100 years ago), a collection in the Goteborg Museum of Natural History, Sweden, and a history of nomenclature. A posting coming up soon will be about a collection of mounted Western Ground Parrots in an English Stately Home. It seems clear that Ground Parrots were common in the very early days when Europeans first arrived, were enjoyed as food, and were also among the huge collections made of Australian fauna in the 1800s. The intention is to add an item to the blog each week. No-one has yet made a comment on the blog. This can be done by clicking on “no comment”. The WGP History Blog address is B. Newbey and S. Fryc


Western Ground Parrot – Gone from the Fitzgerald River National Park? The following poem is a response to the failure to find any Western Ground Parrots (WGPs) in the Fitzgerald River Natural Park (FRNP) during the surveys undertaken there in autumn 2013. There is no certainty that all the WGPs are gone from FRNP though the signs are not good. Maybe the spring surveys will yield a different result. I first saw a WGP in what is now the FRNP in 1978.

Gone Wild parrot green, unique, concealed, in dense low tough-leaved heath Living as it has for aeons, long before the first men came Withstanding drought, fire and predation, scarcely studied, never tame A second wave of humans came not so long ago They cleared the land with vigour leaving scattered habitat They brought new invaders with them including fox and cat. Rarely seen by curious birders but often heard by survey teams Twelve years ago its call was common: pre-dawn and as the stars came out It used to start the morning chorus and clearly close the evening bout. Now dawn silence is unbroken by those fast ascending notes Other birds sing sweet and loudly, one offers up a part reprise What we seek is gone for ever: the copy-call is a cruel tease. The web of intertwining lives tore as we stumbled unaware Causing untold unseen damage, a toll for future life to bear. Brenda Newbey June 2013.

Contacts: David Taylor (Chair). Phone 0458502836

Anne Bondin (Secretary/Treasurer). Phone (08) 9844 1793

Address: PO Box 5613, Albany, WA 6332


Website: Archive: Previous issues of our newsletter are available online at

Editor: Stephen Fryc Email:

Next issue: December 2013


Friends of the Western Ground Parrot Newsletter September 2013  

This is a quarterly newsletter for the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot. This is the September 2013 edition. The Western Ground Parrot i...

Friends of the Western Ground Parrot Newsletter September 2013  

This is a quarterly newsletter for the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot. This is the September 2013 edition. The Western Ground Parrot i...