Conservation Reserve Established In Australia For Night Parrot

Thought to be extinct for more than 75 years, the night parrot was rediscovered two years ago.

Thought to be extinct for more than 75 years, the night parrot was rediscovered two years ago.

The endangered night parrot was found in Australia.
ABC News Australia 7.30
The endangered night parrot was found in Australia.

The endangered night parrot was actually thought to be extinct less than 100 years ago. But then, two years ago, a live night parrot was discovered. Birdlife Magazine editor Sean Dooley called the discovery, “The bird watching equivalent of finding Elvis flipping burgers in an outback roadhouse,?while Dr. Philippa Horton, Collection Manager at South Australian Museum said it was “One of the holy grails, one of the world? rarest species probably,?ABC News Australia reports.

The man who made the discovery back in July 2013 ?naturalist John Young ?knew how important it was to keep such a rare find a closely guarded secret. In knowing that, he showed evidence of the bird, which included photographs, to the world, but no information as to where he made the discovery, except that the find took place in Australia. The location will remain confidential to protect the birds from issues such as fire and weeds, as well as from predators like cats and people. Given that a live bird or night parrot eggs may be worth a great deal of money, poachers are also a concern, ABC News Australia reports.

Bush Heritage Australia, bird experts, scientists and the Australian government are working together to create a 56,000-hectare conservation reserve for the night parrots. Rob Murphy, an executive manager for Bush Heritage, told ABC News Australia, “This is the biggest conservation in Australia today. For as long as we can, we?l keep it as secret as we can. It? just such a critical thing that we do everything that we can to save this species to bring it back from the brink of extinction.?lt;/span>

The location will be kept secret until more of the night parrot population is found. Dr. Steve Murphy, an ecologist, spent two years researching the night parrot population. In that time he? only seen three birds, according to ABC News Australia. He attributes this in part to the fact that the night parrot is nocturnal.

Murphy did, however, get to hold one of the birds long enough to secure it with a radio transmitter to track it. The information they?e received so far from the tracker, according to ABC News Australia, has given the team a better understanding of the endangered bird. A recovery team, consisting of scientists from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australian National University, Charles Darwin University and federal and state government, has also been put in place.

“We’re aware that it’s not going to remain a secret forever,” Murphy told ABC News Australia, “and the trick is getting the mechanisms in place now that are going to allow us to manage the interest that’s going to follow once the location is revealed.”

Do you think revealing the location at any point will be detrimental to the status of the night parrot or will it lead to further information about the species?

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