“It sounds like you’re just making this up, does that even exist? ….” Is the most common response from people when we talk about Wheatbelt malleefowl to those who are unfamiliar with this unique bird. Malleefowl are widely accepted to be a cryptic species which present challenges in monitoring and therefore, by extension, ability to make the best decisions around conservation management.
The construction and maintenance of huge mounds (nests) in relation to the size of the birds, the ongoing thermal regulation of these nests to incubate eggs and the general all-round coolness of these birds make them seem like a character from old school mythology! A big shout out to the truckies, grader drivers, road crews, surveyors, landholders and everyone in the Wheatbelt community who have been letting us know when and where they encounter malleefowl. We are using this data to inform on-ground management of malleefowl throughout the region.
Please scroll below see what we’ve been up to over the past few months in the realm of malleefowl.
Big thanks to you the community for all that you’re doing to help look after malleefowl throughout the Wheatbelt!
Some activity for some of the mounds we’re working on with community around the Wheatbelt -
Here we can see a pair working the mound
Getting deeper in preparation for egg-laying
Second mound - Every day is leg day!
The threats are very real – same mound as above fox inspecting mound presumably for eggs
Other active mounds - Wheatbelt NRM biodiversity team using thermal imaging hardware on mounds just prior to sun up
This project is supported through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.