December 16, 2015 by Lisa Morrison, Sciencenetwork Wa
One of the last known populations of WA's rarest bird species is tipped to disappear from a global biodiversity hotspot unless action is taken to address climate change.
A species distribution model (SDM) for the critically endangered western ground parrot (Pzeoporus flaviventris) was developed in July by Edith Cowan University School of Natural Sciences postdoctoral research fellow Dr Shaun Molloy.
The aim was to determine if climate change could be a major contributor to the dramatic decline of the species, which has an estimated population of 110 birds at three sites, including Fitzgerald River National Park, 180kms northeast of Albany.
SDMs correlate the presence of a species with variables such as temperature and rainfall, to determine the species' baseline potential distribution.
By comparing the species' baseline model with predicted climate change scenarios, maps can be created indicating how the species' distribution is likely to change.