Re: megapodes

Subject: Re: megapodes
From: Lawrie Conole <>
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 15:24:12 +1000 (EET)
On Fri, 4 Apr 1997, John Leonard wrote:

> In Australia there is one species of megapode (Malleefowl) found in the band
> of mallee across the south of the continent and two species (Scrub Turkey
> and Orange-footed Scrubfowl) found in rainforest and adjacent habitats down
> the east coast. However there is not, and hasn't been in Recent times, a
> species inhabiting dry schlerophyll and woodland down the eastern side of
> the continent. Why not? Surely if the mallee can support a species, then dry
> forest and woodland could too.

.... and while you're on that one ... why is it that after Malleefowl and
Brush Turkey were introduced to the mallee/woodland of Kangaroo Island
(South Aust), only the seemingly non-mallee-adapted Brush Turkey formed a
self-sustaining feral population?  (lack of mammalian predators on this
fox & dingo free island??; maybe the abundant local goannas haven't
cottoned on to the culinary delights contained in the nest mounds??)

All three megapodes do occur out of their "primary" habitats at various
points in the eastern states.  Malleefowls occur in woodland/open-forest
in NSW, even in the absence of any close handy mallee (I believe). 
Scrubfowl wander out of monsoon forest & rainforest, as do Brush Turkeys. 
Whilst the majority of the population of each of the three megapodes
occurs in what we consider to be its particular habitat, all of them
utilise woodland and open-forest to some extent.  I guess the question
then becomes, what's keeping any of them from making more extensive use of

Lawrie Conole
Geelong, Victoria, Australia


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