Western Bristlebird relocation

Subject: Western Bristlebird relocation
From: Laurence and Leanne Knight <>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2000 21:19:07 +1000
For those of you who enjoy the odd conservation related media release

 Relocation of endangered Western Bristlebird bringing back south coast

 The recovery of one of the State's endangered bird species - the
Western Bristlebird - has taken a further step with the translocation of
seven birds to coastal shrubland near Walpole.

 The birds join eight others translocated in a pilot project last year.
The aim of the latest translocation is to establish a secure breeding
population in areas of the bird's former range.

 Environment Minister Cheryl Edwardes today said the Department of
Conservation and Land Management's scientific staff and volunteers
successfully translocated the birds earlier this month.

 "The pilot translocation last year went well and CALM researchers now
expect the birds to breed and create a third population along the south
coast," Mrs Edwardes said.

 There are two populations of Western Bristlebird, one near Albany in
the Two People's Bay to Mount Manypeaks area and the other at Fitzgerald
River National Park.

 Mrs Edwardes said translocation of native species was an integral part
of CALM's Western Shield program to reintroduce native animals and birds
back to their former ranges.

 She said catching them for a translocation from Albany to Walpole was a
mammoth effort involving CALM staff and volunteers from Perth, Albany
and Walpole collaborating in an operation using special-effects to
tantalise the birds into nets.

 "The species inhabits dense near-coastal heaths, eats insects and seeds
and is one of a suite of heath and scrub birds on the south coast," the
Minister said.

 "It is endangered because of clearing and too-frequent fire which have
destroyed its favoured habitat of old vegetation. Because it's a poor
flier it cannot cover long distances to find new territory."

 The recovery effort was led by Dr Allan Burbidge, of CALMScience

 "The recovery team comprised CALM staff and members of the community
who decided that translocation was the wisest way of ensuring a safe
future for the birds," Mrs Edwardes said.

 The program is funded by Environment Australia and CALM with
substantial support by volunteers.

 The birds were transported in padded boxes to prevent stress. CALM
staff and volunteers drove to Walpole and walked along bush tracks for
an hour before releasing them.

 Some birds were fitted with radio transmitters to enable regular

 Dr Burbidge has been involved with the Western Bristlebird for about 10
years. He has also worked on the Ground Parrot and the Western Whipbird,
two endangered WA native birds living on the south coast.

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