Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Queensland Ground Parrot study 1989

The extract below is from the summary of a report on three years' work on the Eastern Ground Parrot in subtropical Queensland. The report was 'The Ground Parrot Pezoporus wallicus wallicus (Kerr) in Queensland: habitat, Biology and Conservation'. It was written by Dr David McFarland, dated April 1989, and was prepared for: Division of Conservation, Parks and Wildlife, Department of Environment and Conservation, Queensland. Later, much of this report appeared in the journal, Wildlife Research. 

In South-East Queensland,Eastern Ground Parrots used to occur from Fraser Island to the New South Wales border. By the time this work was under way, they were to be found in only three isolated locations in that State.

As well as his scientific study of the Ground Parrot, David McFarland made a pen and ink drawing of a bird in the wild (see below). It has been coloured by a different hand more recently.

Those familiar with Western Ground Parrots will  note that the relation of fire age and the Ground Parrot is very different in Queensland from in WA where birds prefer long unburnt heathland for nesting. The Queensland heathlands are both wetter and warmer than those in Western Australia so plant growth is faster in Queensland, accelerating the cycle. Both the Eastern Ground Parrots of Queensland and Western Ground Parrots, need high plant diversity in their habitat so Ground Parrot populations in both States suffer if the fires are so frequent as to deplete plant diversity. In the 1980s, when study of the Western Ground Parrot began, numbers were much lower than those at the same time in Queensland.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Food, Eastern Ground Parrot, Victoria

This posting, like the previous two postings, is derived from the 1980 Andrew and Isles report entitled "A study of the ground parrot (Pezoporus wallicus) in Victoria."

These days there would be more stringent controls on the study methods with much more care taken to avoid death of the subjects.

The illustration was taken from "The Atlas of Living Australia". The map shows the distribution of the sedge Leptocarpus tenax, and on the right are some specimens of the species. This plant often grows as a dense almost pure stand. It occurs over most of the range of the Ground Parrot and both in this study and from other observations, has been recorded as a food for Ground Parrots.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Breeding observations Eastern Ground Parrot, Victoria

During the study by Meredith and Isles that was written up in 1980 (full reference in previous posting), 7 nests were found in Croajingalong National Park, Victoria.

Below are extracts from the Meredith and Isles report. The photos were not, as far as we are aware, part of the report and were labelled as EGP Juvenile and EGP Chicks with no acknowledgement so apologies to the photographer/s. They are used here to illustrate the first part of the text.