Australia

Fears for endangered parrot after bushfire

Conservation efforts are ramping up in a bid to protect the western ground parrot after a bushfire destroyed some of the birds' WA habitat.

There are fears a bushfire that tore through a national park in Western Australia may have further reduced the population of the already critically endangered western ground parrot.

Lightning strikes on January 13 caused a bushfire in Cape Arid National Park, in the state's south-east, burning about 6300 hectares.

Fewer than 150 western ground parrots remain in the wild at the national park and Nuytsland Nature Reserve.

Five parrots were fitted with GPS collars last spring so the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions could study their movements.

One bird was found alive last week and signals from two others were detected, prompting another search this week to determine whether they too survived the blaze.

Environment minister Stephen Dawson said on Wednesday that one location where birds were found last spring was burnt in the fire.

"DBCA will continue to undertake fox and feral cat baiting to protect the birds, and monitor the occurrence and abundance of the ground parrot through listening surveys," he said.

Two male birds and three females were taken to Perth Zoo last year, joining four other western ground parrots, to determine the possibility of a breeding program.

"Birds brought to Perth Zoo late last year are being monitored by CCTV cameras and have settled into purpose-built aviaries exceptionally well," Mr Dawson said.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch