Malleefowl in Brisbane Ranges

Subject: Malleefowl in Brisbane Ranges
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 15:48:54 +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,
> Sheffield.
> 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
> Melbourne
I was once shown the remains of a former Malleefowl's nest in the
Whipstick Forest, while taking part in a BOCA puting or camp in the
area. At the time I was told that they had hung on there until the 1920s
or '30s.
BOCA's quarterly 'The Australian Bird Watcher' once carried a paper
describing the discovery of remains of a former mallee-fowl's nest in
the Brisbane ranges. 

Anthea Fleming
in Ivanhoe, Vic.

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