Some rather sad news came to me today. At Eremophila Park, a private
sanctuary not far from Waikerie, SA, the male malleefowl (part of the only
resident malleefowl pair) is no more. Some of you might know the place; it's
a magnificent piece of mallee scrub looked after by a lovely old lady. It
has been the place of residence for a pair of malleefowl for many years, and
due to their tameness popular for those in the know to watch or show others
the intriguing behaviour of this species. The pair even featured in one of
David Attenborough's earlier documentaries. No-one knew whether the same
pair occupied the area for years, or whether one of the partners was
replaced at any time, but it was a given that there was always one active
The mound has shifted position a couple of times. The lady who owns the
reserve used to quietly talk to the birds while supplementary feeding them.
They were ideal targets for photography and I shot many excellent pix.
Recently the male had not been seen for a few days, and the lady went in
search. She found dog tracks near the mound indicating a rather large dog
had been around. Searching the entire reserve (!) no trace of the male was
found, although the female was still present.
The area surrounding the reserve is large-scale wheat and grazing land, with
scattered bits of remnant vegetation that gradually (illegally) is being
cleared. There does not seem to be any hope for the male to be around
(although no feathers have been found).
Project Officer, Riverland West Local Action Planning
Check out our brand-new website: http://www.riverland.net.au/~rwlap/
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