Threatened heathland birds thriving at Nadgee Nature Reserve
Populations of threatened Eastern Bristlebirds and Ground Parrots are at their highest levels since monitoring began at Nadgee Nature Reserve nearly 15 years ago.
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Ranger George Malolakis said figures from the annual monitoring program show that the birds are thriving in their coastal heath habitats on the far south coast of NSW close to the NSW-Victoria border.
“The strong populations of both bird species are a result of careful management over many years by dedicated NPWS Rangers, researchers and volunteers,” Mr Malolakis said.
“In recent years our research and monitoring has shown both the Eastern Bristlebird and Ground Parrots have been either stable or slightly increasing.
“However, this year’s results are fantastic, with nearly 50 bristlebirds and 35 Ground Parrots seen or heard during the four day survey.”
A number of other threatened species were also recorded during the fieldtrip including sightings of a Powerful Owl, two critically endangered Hooded Plovers, a number of Striated Field wrens and the booming calls of two Australasian Bitterns – a species not previously recorded at Nadgee.
“We also heard what we think are Giant Burrowing Frogs in one of the many full swamps and we checked on some Tangled Bedstraw, a rare inter-twining herb, which continues to do well,” Mr Malolakis said.
“Clearly, Nadgee Nature Reserve is a spectacular biodiversity hotspot. The local NPWS staff and their volunteers have worked hard over the years to improve this important wilderness area.
“It’s an important location for threatened species especially in regards to Eastern Bristlebirds and Ground Parrots. We know it’s a place where they can thrive with ongoing protection and careful management.”
The successful Nadgee project is now funded under the NSW Government’s flagship $100 million Saving our Species (SoS) program which aims to help almost a thousand animal and plant species threatened with extinction in NSW over the next five years.
SoS is investing more than $100,000 to conserve Eastern Bristlebirds and Ground Parrots across four key sites in NSW during the next five years. This funding will cover captive breeding, and fire, weed and pest animal management at some sites.
Mr Malolakis said Nadgee Nature Reserve is part of the UNESCO designated Croajingolong Biosphere Reserve and is not only a critically important habitat but it’s also a magnificent site for visitors.
“Nadgee Nature Reserve, which also includes Howe Wilderness, is also a very popular coastal bushwalking route.
“We carefully manage the impacts of visitors to make sure threatened species are well protected.
Ultimately this means we can ensure that both the animals and people can prosper in harmony and it remains a true wilderness experience for all,” Mr Malolakis said.
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Above: Eastern Bristlebird (Dasyornis brachypterus) part of the Saving our species funded recovery program 2016. Photo by: Matthew Jones www.matthewjonesphotography.com
Above: Eastern Ground Parrot (Pezoporus wallicus) part of the Saving our species funded recovery program 2016, camouflaging itself in native grasses. Photo by: Matthew Jones www.matthewjonesphotography.com