DNA confirms elusive Night Parrot found

To: "" <>
Subject: DNA confirms elusive Night Parrot found
From: colin trainor <>
Date: Sat, 10 Aug 2013 12:16:43 +0930
Heres the BirdLife Int summary, largely taken from the Action Plan 2010 
(Garnett et al. 2011).

Australia is rather large, and potential habitat must around say 5,000,000 km2, 
though perhaps they do actually occupy tiny patches of this.

Because of their cryptic nature we probably can only conclusively be certain 
that they are absent from tiny bits of this, but what if they do move around as 


Population justification
 remaining population is assumed to be very small, and was formerly 
precautionarily estimated to number fewer than 50 mature individuals 
based on the paucity of records. In 2010 an expert committee re-assessed
 this as untenable, given records from Western Australia in 2005 and 
Queensland in 2006, and estimated that there might be 50-250 birds in 
total (Garnett et al. 2011). The number of mature individuals is therefore 
placed in the band 50-249, but may prove to be larger.

Trend justification
 population is suspected to be in decline owing to a combination of 
threats, including predation by alien invasive predators. 

Distribution and population
Pezoporus occidentalis is endemic to Australia,
 where historical records are spread throughout the arid and semi-arid 
zones. There were comparatively few confirmed records from the 20th 
century. At least five dedicated searches and two broad-scale publicity 
campaigns in the 1990s failed to confirm the existence of any 
population, with only one authenticated record from near Boulia, 
north-western Queensland, in 1990. However, three birds were then 
reported at Minga Qwirriawirrie Well near the Fortescue Marshes in the 
Pilbara region of Western Australia in April 2005 (Davis and Metcalf 
2008). Subsequent searches in 2005 and 2006 failed to relocate the 
species, but this may have been because there had been recent rain, and 
so birds were not concentrating at the waterhole (M. J. Bamford and B. 
M. Metcalf in litt. 2005). There were three possible sightings at two sites 145 
km apart in the East Pilbara in 2010 (Ramsay 2010).
 A dead bird was found by Queensland Park and Wildlife Service Rangers 
in Diamantina National Park, Queensland in November 2006, less than 200 
km from the1990 record, having apparently collided with a fence some 
weeks before (Birds Australia in litt. 2007, McDougall et al. 2009).
 It was positively identified by Queensland Museum and appeared to be an
 immature, implying a breeding event in the two years prior to September
 2006 (McDougall et al. 2009). Flood rains in the Channel Country have 
prevented access to the area for follow-up surveys (Birds Australia in litt. 
 It seems quite likely that this cryptic species occurs at a low density
 elsewhere in its former range as there have been unverified sight 
records from inland regions of all mainland states and the Northern 
Territory. However, there has almost certainly been a historical decline
 in abundance given the sharp decline in reporting since the 1880s, most
 likely as a result of predation by non-native mammals.


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