The State’s first translocation of the endangered noisy scrub-bird to the Porongurup National Park has been successfully completed, Environment Minister Mark McGowan announced today.
Mr McGowan said four male scrub-birds were translocated into the area this week after being held in temporary aviaries for the past month while awaiting the ideal weather conditions.
“This exciting event is part of a long term recovery program for the scrub-bird, which has focussed on establishing new populations through translocation as well as fire management in habitat areas where the birds occur,” the Minister said.
“The Manypeaks wildfire in the summer of 2004-05, which resulted in the loss of more than 55 per cent of the scrub-bird population, highlighted the need to continue the translocation program.
“It also demonstrated the need to focus on other areas near Albany which might provide suitable habitat and potentially support a breeding population of the scrub-bird.”
Albany MLA Peter Watson said the Albany region had many areas which were deemed suitable for the reintroduction of endangered species.
“The vesting of Gull Rock reserve as a National Park today is a prime example of the type of area which could support the noisy scrub-bird,” Mr Watson said.
“We also have a small colony of Gilbert’s potoroo at Bald Island, which has a total species population of less than 40 worldwide.
“The reintroduction of native species is not only fantastic for the biodiversity of the region, it also boosts tourism and the local economy as well.”
Mr McGowan said another release of males was planned for August.
“All of the birds will carry transmitters so they can be radio-tracked for the first few weeks of their release,” he said.
“If the male scrub-birds successfully establish territories, then females will be released to the area next year.
“If all goes well, future visitors to the Porongurups will be treated to the loud and beautiful song of the male noisy scrub-bird, and the future of this rare and elusive bird will become brighter.”
The first release followed more than 12 months of research to determine if there was a suitable source of food for scrub-birds in the release area, and if there was a suitable wild population to source the release birds from.
This project was made possible because of financial support and the high degree of co-operation between staff and volunteers from the Department of Environment and Conservation and SCRIPT.
Minister's office: (08) 9222 9111