Monday, July 21, 2014

Plant families recorded in 1988/89 study site

The photos are frames from a video taken near the study site for the project "Conservation of the Ground Parrot in Western Australia" but much later - in 2006- by Brent Barrett and his small team who were employed by the then Department of Environment and Conservation, now Department of Parks and Wildlife. The Ground Parrot, 'Charlie', is pausing in typical low and diverse heath. Several of the plants are known food plants. The close-up is in the same spot. Note that Charlie was a wild bird, filmed in his natural habitat. In 1989, the study site and the site where Charlie was filmed were added to the  Fitzgerald River National Park.

The plant species list for the Ground Parrot study site for the project "Conservation of the Ground Parrot in Western Australia" contains 265 species. (There is more about this study in the previous six postings.)

Below is a list of all the plant families that were recorded during the 1988/89 survey of known Ground Parrot habitat. The number refers to how many different species within that family were found in the study site.

Poaceae (grasses)      8
Cyperaceae (sedges)   24
Restionaceae (twine rushes)         12
Centrolepidaceae       1
Dasypogonaceae         5
Anthericaceae          6
Haemodoraceae (paws)   6
Iridaceae              2
Orchidaceae (orchids)  1
Casuarinicaceae        4
Proteaceae (banksias etc)           40
Santalaceae            4
Olacaceae              1
Lorantaceae            1
Droseraceae (sundews)  3
Pittosporaceae         3
Mimosaceae (wattles)   6
Papilionaceae (peas)  19
Rutaceae               2
Polygalaceae           1
Euphorbiaceae          3
Sapindaceae            2
Rhamnaceae             4
Dillenaceae (guinea flowers)           1
Thymeleaceae           3
Myrtaceae (eucalypts, melaleucas etc) 46
Haloragaceae           2
Apiaceae               3
Epacridaceae (heaths) 17
Loganiaceae            3
Boraginaceae           1
Rubiaceae              1
Lobeliaceae            1
Goodeniaceae           5
Stylidiaceae (trigger plants)          8
Asteraceae (daisies)   3
Unknowns (not assigned to a family)   12

By a large margin, the Proteaceae and Myrtaceae are the most well represented, followed by sedges, peas and heaths. Each of these families appears in a more recent study that examines the filmed records from spring 2006(not yet complete) to offer a significant part of the Western Ground Parrot diet, and combined they would comprise at least 95% of the diet of that wild bird at that stage.

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