Graeme and Sandra have answered the main points of your original post but
thought I would add a few comments given I lived in Griffith and spent a
reasonable time in Pulletop in the early 90s doing bird surveys.
I am actually amazed the hut is still standing given it has rarely been used
since the late 1980s when the last Malleefowl disappeared from the reserve.
This species was a regular attractant for many bird clubs and the hut was used
for trips, with often the first task of filling a water trough to attarct the
local birds in for water. Harry Frith did much of his pioneering work in
Malleefowl in the area around Pulletop as there was still intact mallee around
the area, and the reserve was retained because it was felt that this was a
sufficient area to retain a viable population. Unfortunately this was not the
case with the last record being about 1986 and the closest birds are now
probably north of Rankins Springs (though a pair did occur in Binya SF during
the drought - where they came from was unclear and I think at least one got
bowled over on the Burley Griffin Way).
Based on my syudies the remnent certainly wasn't large enough to sustain a
number of mallee specialists. I think RLW was the first to disappear (not
certain if any confirmed records after about 1970) and Shy Heathwren certainly
had disappeared by the late 1990s (one record since). Other species that had
either disappeared or declined significantly include Southern Scrub-robin,
Chestnut Quail-thrush, Gilbert's Whistler and Emu. Other species that I suspect
may also be in lower numbers since I did my study include Hooded Robin, Inland
Thornbill and Fairy-wrens (i Would be interested if you recorded Splendid FW).
In many ways Pulletop is an interesting reserve, but it also shows how
fragmetation and isolation can lead to gradual extinctions (as has been shown
in many other places including the WA Wheatbelt and the slopes in the eastern
states including SA).
> Date: Tue, 15 Oct 2013 10:13:54 +1100
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] RFI: Old Hut in Pulletop Nature Reserve
> On Sunday I checked out Pulletop Nature Reserve, a large remnant block of
> mallee, about 40 km north of Griffith. There is an abandoned hut within the
> Reserve, and an old notice board outside it, which has detailed information
> about birds and birding. The hut was well constructed, with a water tank and
> outside loo.
> Does anyone know anything about the history of the hut? Who owns it? Was it
> used by a birding club? When was it being used? When was it abandoned? I
> seem to remember that someone on birdingAus said that they recorded
> red-lored whistler calls at Pulletop in the 1960s.
> Carl Weber
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