Judy Edwards

Judy Edwards

Former Minister for the Environment; Science

    New malleefowl populations found in the Goldfields, Nullarbor

    8/11/2005 12:00 AM

    Major surveys of the north-eastern Goldfields and Nullarbor for malleefowl have led to the discovery of a new population of the threatened species.

    Releasing the survey results in the Goldfields today, Environment Minister Judy Edwards said the findings represented a milestone in the monitoring of the species and provided a better understanding of its distribution.

    “In addition to ongoing surveys that have been undertaken in the north-eastern Goldfields since 2000, a new survey was undertaken earlier this year in the southern Nullarbor,” Dr Edwards said.

    “The 2005 survey was part of a co-operative approach among the Malleefowl Preservation Group, BHP Billiton Nickel West and the Department of Conservation and Land Management.

    “The survey around the Eyre Bird Observatory in Nuytsland Nature Reserve on the southern Nullarbor, covered 1,100ha and involved 30 people from the preservation group, CALM and BHP Billiton Nickel West walking an estimated 900km.

    “During the survey, 62 malleefowl nest mounds were located, indicating that the reserve once supported a significant population of the birds.

    “Assessment of the mounds indicated that three were currently active with the possibility that up to three others had been used in recent years, demonstrating that the birds are still present in the area.”

    Dr Edwards said that of the 13 survey and monitoring sites established by the MPG since 1993, the new population near the Eyre Bird Observatory represented a significant new habitat.

    “As a potential link to the eastern Australian malleefowl populations, this site will be of national significance as an important monitoring site,” she said.

    The Minister commended the Malleefowl Preservation Group for their enthusiasm and commitment in delivering gains in the conservation of the species.

    “BHP Billiton Nickel West also is to be congratulated for its support in providing valuable data and advice on the current status of this threatened species,” she said.

    “This partnership will no doubt play an important role in assisting the Government, community, natural resource management groups, industry and CALM in the quest to conserve the biodiversity of the Goldfields and Nullarbor regions.”

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