Western ground parrots are critically endangered with under 150 existing in the wild
Captive program aims to determine feasibility of breeding an insurance population
Efforts are continuing to protect the western ground parrot, following a bushfire that burnt through some of the critically endangered birds’ habitat this month.
Lightning strikes on January 13 caused a bushfire in Cape Arid National Park on the south coast, which burnt 6,300 hectares. Western ground parrots only exist in the wild in Cape Arid National Park and the adjacent Nuytsland Nature Reserve.
In spring 2018, five parrots were caught in Cape Arid National Park – fitted with GPS collars – and returned to the wild so their movements could be studied as part of a recovery program led by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).
A ground search by DBCA last week located one of these five birds alive, and signals from two other birds were detected from the air. A ground search this week will establish if they also survived the fire. One location where birds were found in the spring season was burnt in the fire.