Ground Parrots at "The Prom."

Subject: Ground Parrots at "The Prom."
From: "Martin O'Brien"<>
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 09:45:58 +1000
An unsigned post from "" asks about Ground Parrots on
Wilson's Promontory National Park (Victoria) the most southerly part of
mainland Australia landmass.

I have just returned from "The Prom" where I was checking tracks for
information to add to a new book on this superb National Park.  Along with
two botanists (David Meagher and Phil Wierzbowski) we checked Cotters Lake
in the park's north-west for Ground Parrots (Pezoporus wallicus).  The
"lake" had a little water in it (lots of frogs) from previous good rains
but is normally dry.  I thought it possible GP's occurred here but was not
surprised when we did not record any during a dusk stakeout.  The site may
have recorded this species in the past but now really needs a good
"ecological burn" to develop the patchy habitat necessary for the bird.

The Atlas of Victorian birds shows the Prom. as a site for the species, but
only in the north of the Park.  My experience from south-west Tasmania,
where the bird is relatively abundant, is that the presence of button grass
(Gymnoschoenus sphaerocephalus) and a patchy habitat produced by fires are
important habitat components for the species.  Button grass is absent at
Cotters but is present elsewhere on the Prom. particularly the area north
of the Johnny Souey Track on the track to Chinamans Beach and in the far
south of the Prom. west of the Lighthouse track (north of Roaring Meg
campsite).  Both sites are a longish walk (half a day at least) with no
guarantee of Ground Parrots.  It would be worth talking to the Rangers at
the Prom for further details.  Note that staff who answer the telephones at
Tidal River are likely to be Customer Services Officers and not know about
Ground Parrots.

The rangers (and myself!) would be keen to hear if you find any birds as I
don't think there are any recent records for the species on the Prom.

Parks Victoria has a website at:

and more information can be found by ringing 19 1963

Martin O'Brien
Executive Scientific Officer
Scientific Advisory Committee
Threatened Species Program
Department of Natural Resources and Environment
4/250 Victoria Pde.,
East Melbourne,  3002

tel: +61 3 9412 4567
fax: +61 3 9412 4586

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