Updated 11 May 2016, 8:07am
Farmers living in south-western New South Wales are believed to be the key to the future of one of the world's most unique birds, the critically endangered plains-wanderer.
The New South Wales Government this week added the quail-like birds to the state's 'Iconic Species' list.
Environment Minister, Mark Speakman said the listing would give them priority investment under the $100m Saving our Species program.
"The plains-wanderer is so discreet that only a handful of farmers, scientists and avid bird enthusiasts are likely to lay eyes on it in the wild," he said.
Mr Speakman also revealed, for the first time in 30 years, the plains-wanderer had been bred in captivity as part of a partnership between the NSW Office of Environment (OEH) and Taronga Zoo.
"A pair of birds held at Taronga Zoo has mated and produced eggs and so far five healthy chicks have hatched and are thriving," he said.
OEH Team Leader of Ecosystems and Threatened Species, Matt Cameron, has praised the zoo for its work.
"The situation we've got now with plains-wanderers is that numbers have fallen so low that there's a real chance they could just blink out of existence and so establishing a captive insurance population is a key part of the recovery strategy," he said.