Off the beaten track in Western Australia's Martu country, the illusory Night parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis) has been spotted by Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa rangers. A wonderful result after two long years of using sound recorders to pinpoint the birds and coax them out from hiding.
Once thought extinct, as of now this is the fifth confirmed location of a Night parrot in Western Australia. The two recent recordings occurring in separate areas of the vast Pilbara desert, although the recordings all appear to be in salt lake country.
This wonderful project has been a collaboration between the Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa rangers and Dr Stephen Murphy from the University of Queensland. "The recent discovery of night parrots on Martu country is a great example of two-way science, where detailed knowledge of country was combined with Night Parrot ecology to identify the kinds of places the species might persist. The discovery illustrates how supporting people to be on country - Which maintains and builds knowledge - can lead to nationally significant conservation outcomes" said Dr Murphy
They nest in large spinnifex grass clumps, this and their low flying nature makes them vulnerable to fire. "We'll keep looking for them around the lakes. If we find that nest, we'll do a bit of burning, not too much, to protect them" said Martu ranger Gavin Nanudie. Highlighting the importance of the Aboriginal Ranger Program, which is managing more than fourteen million hectares of country, protecting not just the Night Parrot, but many other native wildlife species.