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Detecting Vulnerable Ground Parrots After Wildfires

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Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service & Partnerships (QPWS&P) Natural Resource Management Rangers, and Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation Community Ranger Bobbie, recently redeployed acoustic sound recorders into the burnt and unburnt country on western K’gari, to detect the presence (or absence) of the vulnerable eastern ground parrot (Pezoporus wallicus).

The Vulnerable eastern ground parrot (Photo: Birdlife Australia)

Similar activity is also occurring in Cooloola, as a part of a Bush Fire Recovery Project targeting areas that were burnt and left unburnt in last year’s wildfires.

The parrot is distinctively green and slender, but extremely shy and elusive so it’s not usually seen unless it is flushed out from cover.

On K’gari it lives mostly on the western side of the island, in dense coastal and subcoastal heathlands, and sedgelands within a high diversity of low-growing plants. They feed on fallen seeds taken from the ground or plucked directly from plants.

Tracking the elusive ground parrot using acoustic recorders (Photo: QPWS&P)

The recording devices (as pictured in situ) will be collected in October, after months of collecting daily sunrise and sunset calling data, without the need for people to stand in the cold and mosquito-ridden vegetation.

The recorded data will also assist in motoring K’gari’s rare and threatened frog species – Wallum sedgefrog (Litoria olongburensis); Cooloola sedgefrog (Litoria cooloolensis); Wallum rocketfrog (Litoria freycineti) and; Wallum froglet (Crinia tinnula).

Contributed by: Linda Behrendorff, QPWS&P, Ranger in Charge NRM

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