Community call to find Malleefowl

Have you seen a Malleefowl in the South West?

Have you seen the elusive and endangered native Malleefowl in your local area?  If you have, we want to hear from you!

The much-loved Malleefowl is renowned for its fascinating behavior.  The bird builds a huge compost mound to generate heat for incubating its eggs. Impressively, a single bird can move a metric ton of soil each day to make the temperature of the mound ‘just right’.

Known populations of Malleefowl are currently monitored in the Wheatbelt areas north-east of Perth and southern areas around Ongerup. However, this interesting bird was known to occur historically throughout the South West from Margaret River to Dumbelyung.

Bushland clearing, feral predators and other pressures have dramatically reduced the bird’s distribution, but the South West Catchments Council (SWCC), in partnership with the National Malleefowl Recovery Team (NMRT), are launching a new project to discover if any Malleefowl are still living in the South West.

Dr Joe Benshemesh, from the National Malleefowl Recovery Team, is calling on the local community to help spot Malleefowl.

“While there are a few official records near Kojonup from 2005, the Malleefowl bird could be persisting in areas within its historical range across in the South West Wheat-belt, particularly east of Albany Highway and we want to find them” Dr Benshemesh says.

SWCC Acting Chief Executive Officer Lisa Potter is hopeful the project will boost regional monitoring efforts of the threatened bird.

“If the NMRT finds the Malleefowl are still active in these areas, this will provide opportunities to monitor numbers and develop conservation strategies to align with the Naitonal Malleefowl Recovery Program,” Ms Potter says.

The project wants to hear from community members, farmers, wildlife enthusiasts or even motorists who might have seen Malleefowl within the Shires of  Wickepin, Dumbleyung, Kent, Katanning, Woodanilling, Wagin, Narrogin, Kojonup and West Aurthur to contact NMRT Project Officer Liz Kington to report the sighting.

Liz can be contacted on [email protected] or on 0417 996 719.

This project is supported by the South West Catchments Council through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landare Program.

Copyright © 2023 South West Catchments Council

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