On 20 December lightning started an out-of-control bushfire which swept through Cape Arid National Park and nearby Nuytsland Nature Reserve burning close to 40,000 hectares including core Western Ground Parrot habitat before it was brought under control in difficult conditions. This is the third major fire since 2015 and each of these has burnt large areas of parrot habitat and likely resulted in the loss of birds either directly or subsequently from increased pressure from native and introduced predators. We have lobbied for emergency feral predator control to be carried out immediately to protect the surviving birds as particularly feral cats are known to concentrate their hunting into remaining unburnt habitat areas following fires.
At this stage the impact on the last wild Western Ground Parrot population, which was estimated at less than 150 individuals prior to the fire, is not known. Apart from the known population at Cape Arid National Park, it is possible that birds still continue to exist in remote parts of Fitzgerald River National Park which have never been properly searched due to the lack of access tracks. If the parrots survive out there, they need to be protected from feral predators as soon as possible.
We have already donated funds for the purchase of 10 solar-powered automated recording units and their deployment by helicopter, and are now raising additional funds so the remaining 10 units needed to survey the remote area can also be purchased. We have set up an online fundraising page
for the Western Ground Parrot Rescue Fund to accept donations. However, if you prefer to make a donation by cheque or via direct back deposit, please contact us and we will provide you with the necessary details. We are a registered charity and all donations over $2 are tax-deductible for Australian taxpayers.
I would like to thank those of you who have already made donations. If you haven't, please consider helping this forgotten victim of the horrendous bushfires that are sweeping through our country. If you are not in a position to make a donation, please promote our fundraising campaign with others. While billions of animals may have perished in the fires, we only need to lose 150 for Kyloring to become extinct in the wild.
Thanking you for your support in advance!
Kind regards and the best New Year's wishes to you all,
Chair, Friends of the Western Ground Parrot