Malleefowl in Brisbane Ranges

Subject: Malleefowl in Brisbane Ranges
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 14:38:11 +1100
Further to the original postings on Malleefowl in Victoria's Brisbane
Ranges north east of Melbourne.  I have the following information provided
by colleague Peter Menkhorst on the issue.  Some further fascinating
information about this species.  I understand these old records are in fact
recorded in the bird Atlases but one needs to ask for 'historical records'
to see them on the distribution maps.

As far as I can tell, records of Malleefowl in the Brisbane Ranges derive
solely from the following statements in Campbell (1900). They are anecdotal
records and probably cannot be further substantiated, but Campbell was a
heavyweight of Australian ornithology and is generally very highly regarded
as a source of information.

Campbell, A. J. (1900) Nests and Eggs of Australian Birds, the author,

page 699. 'the furthest point south touched by Lipoa [= Leipoa] is, or
rather was (for I fear they have been driven out of the locality or
destroyed by foxes), the Brisbane Ranges between Bacchus Marsh and the You
Yangs, Victoria. At all events, the birds were there during the season
1887, Mr A. Cameron, a station employee, having seen a nest, apparently
just ready for eggs. He also heard of a person who found another nest
containing eggs.'

The present day south-eastern limit of Malleefowl in Victoria is the
Wychitella Flora and Fauna Reserve, north of Wedderburn which is north-west
of Bendigo on the Calder Highway. They were formerly also in the Whipstick
scrub just north of Bendigo - Campbell comments that in 1861 during the
'whipstick rush' [one of the many gold rushes around Bendigo] Malleefowl
were frequently for sale in poulterer's shops in Bendigo.

Peter Menkhorst


Martin O'Brien
Executive Scientific Officer, Scientific Advisory Committee
Department of Sustainability and Environment
4/250 Victoria Pde. (PO Box 500), East Melbourne  3002

Tel: 9412 4567  Fax: 9412 4586
(prefixes: Interstate 03 International 613)

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