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Learning more about the Night Parrot

Published 02 Jun 2023

In May 2023, six indigenous ranger groups travelled to Pullen Pullen Reserve, Maiawali Country, in Western Queensland.

It is here that the Night Parrot was rediscovered in 2013. Bush Heritage purchased the property in 2016 and have been working tirelessly to protect the mysterious bird. 

The rangers came from areas that have suitable Night Parrot habitat or where they have been recorded.

Together they shared knowledge about the Night Parrot, as well as ways to track and record the bird.

"It's good to come out here, to see the different countries and learn about Night Parrots and what they do and what they eat," said Neil Lane, Punmu Ranger.

"So there was representatives from Ngururrpa Kayanta and Paraku," explained ecologist Nick Leseberg, "and then we also had some rangers from the Punmu Ranger group, which is down on Martu Country, which is a bit further south-west. We also had some guys come from Kiwirkurra. They haven't found Night Parrots there yet but they have got some country in there, on their IPA (Indigenous Protected Area) that's prospective for Night Parrots and worth looking for."

"So that was the groups from Western Australia and then we also had some guys come out of the Walpiri Rangers and ladies out of the southern Tanami IPA in the Northern Territory came across as well.

"So the population here is relatively small, but where the birds are being found in Western Australia is across a much larger area and they're finding more of them over there than what we have here at Pullen Pullen in western Queensland.

"So while the work we do here is obviously still very important, most of the Night Parrots are going to be over in Western Australia and the places where they're being found is on Indigenous land."

"So it's critical for them to see, you know, that the future of the Night Parrot rests in all our hands but they're going to be a really important part of it because they have more Night Parrots on their country than just about anywhere else, so it's really important for them to be engaged, to understand how to manage the Night Parrot and to understand the importance, which they obviously do, and to see how it can be done I think."

"We hope that they will be protected forever", said Maiawali Traditional Custodian, Judith Harrison, "and that more study can be done on the Night Parrot to see what else we can do to protect their range and their feeding grounds."

Ecologist Nick Leseberg talks Night Parrot. Photo Lachlan Gardiner. Ecologist Nick Leseberg talks Night Parrot. Photo Lachlan Gardiner.
Searching for the bird at night. Photo Lachlan Gardiner. Searching for the bird at night. Photo Lachlan Gardiner.
Group portrait at the reserve entrance sign. Photo Lachlan Gardiner. Group portrait at the reserve entrance sign. Photo Lachlan Gardiner.
The group gathers in a clearing among the spinifex. Photo Lachlan Gardiner. The group gathers in a clearing among the spinifex. Photo Lachlan Gardiner.
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