Sunday, May 4, 2014

Fitzgerald Survey 1985-1987

In 1984, the Fitzgerald River National Park Association (a community group), combined with the National Parks Authority of Western Australia to apply to the Western Australian Heritage Committee for a grant. The objective was to record flora, fauna, geology, landform and soils in the Fitzgerald River National Park (FRNP) and the Vacant Crown Land to the north of it because it was believed to be very rich and diverse in flora and fauna including many rare and endangered species. The grant was approved in February 1985.

The photo above shows Ken Newbey (botanist) and Andy Chapman (zoologist) planning the 1985-1987 survey at Twertup Field Studies Centre within the FRNP. (Photo: B. Newbey)

One of the rare vertebrates sought was the Ground Parrot. The map below shows the sites that were surveyed for Ground Parrots. Positive sites are shown in pink.

NOTE: Many of the tracks that were accessible then are now closed. Also, sadly, no Ground Parrots have been located in this area since 2012, despite several surveys.

Ground Parrots were located in three clumps of sites, but were not relocated at three of the six sites recorded by Watkins in 1984*. One of Watkins' sites had been recently burnt. At another was a possible distant call, too indistinct to be recorded as positive.

*Watkins, D. (1985). Report of the RAOU Ground Parrot survey in Western Australia. RAOU Report 15.

The 1985-1987 survey report was later published.

Chapman, A. and Newbey, K. (1995). A biological survey of the Fitzgerald area, Western Australia. CALM SCIENCE, Supplement three. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia.

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