Western bristlebirds find new home
Friday, 14 December 2007
The future of the rare western bristlebird looks brighter following the
successful translocation of three birds to D’Entrecasteaux National
Department of Environment and Conservation Principal Research Scientist
Dr Allan Burbidge said the release was part of ongoing recovery efforts
by DEC , the South Coast Threatened Birds Recovery Team and volunteers
to re-establish a population west of Albany.
“Nowadays the birds are found from the eastern end of Fitzgerald River
National Park to Two Peoples Bay near Albany, but the species once
occurred further west.
“The translocation is part of an attempt to reintroduce the species to
parts of its former Habitat ,” Dr Burbidge said.
The bristlebirds were released near Mandalay Beach in D’Entrecasteaux
“The habitat in this area was thought to be suitable for bristlebirds,
due to the dense heath and patches of long unburnt vegetation, similar
to that at Two Peoples Bay, where the three birds were caught in the
wild,” he said.
The birds were fitted with radio transmitters and were tracked
intensively for the first week after release to determine their
“The three birds appear to have settled down and two of them seem to
have paired up. They have been staying close together and singing
duets,” Dr Burbidge said.
“If the birds persist, it will give the recovery team some confidence
about the suitability of habitat in the area, and under those
circumstances more will be released in 2008.”
Frequent and widespread fires remain the most critical factor likely to
reduce the suitable habitat area for the western bristlebird. The
species is now considered Vulnerable with less than 350 pairs known.
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