Tuesday, 22 November 2016
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the two-week-long survey, conducted by the Department of Parks and Wildlife, had shown western ground parrots had been breeding in the wild following bushfires in late 2015.
The Minister said feral cat baiting in the national park, under the Liberal National Government's flagship Western Shield wildlife conservation program, was also protecting the parrots from feral cat predation.
It is believed there are as few as 150 western ground parrots in the wild, in reserves and national parks along the south coast of Western Australia.
"Parks and Wildlife carried out another round of baiting this spring to provide extra protection for these critically endangered birds during the breeding season," Mr Jacob said.
"This was particularly important to protect recently fledged birds from feral cats in Cape Arid National Park, following the impact on the species from the large bushfires in late last year.
"Baiting across more than 145,000 hectares of the park has reduced feral cat predation, which was essential considering the bushfires impacted about 90 per cent of the parrot's habitat.
"However, the most exciting discovery was the calls of young western ground parrots in two core areas that were not burnt. These calls show the population is producing young parrots.
"This confirms the Liberal National Government is on the right track with integrating the use of the feral cat bait Eradicat with fox baiting across conservation reserves and State forest."
The Minister said automated recording units would monitor sites where the birds were heard and at sites further east in Cape Arid National Park. Parks and Wildlife will continue to monitor the birds' habitat as part of the recovery plan for the species.
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