Area: 56,000 ha
Traditional Owners: Maiawali people
Pullen Pullen Reserve was established as a sanctuary to protect what was, at the time, the only known population of endangered Night Parrots in the world.
This nocturnal, ground-dwelling bird is famous for avoiding detection, and has been described by the Smithsonian Institution as 'the planet’s most elusive bird'. Prior to 2013 the last living specimen had been collected in Western Australia in 1912.
The Pullen Pullen Night Parrot population was discovered in 2013 by ornithologist John Young, who captured several photos and a few seconds of video footage of a live bird.
Global interest in the discovery was so intense that the exact location was kept a closely guarded secret to protect the birds from disturbance.
The Queensland Government’s approval to transfer a former pastoral lease to Bush Heritage recognised the national and international significance of this land for securing survival of the Night Parrot.
We've been working closely with scientists to map the habitat at Pullen Pullen Reserve, learn about the Night Parrot’s biology, and put the necessary conservation planning in place to increase the bird’s chances of survival.
Dr Steve Murphy and his team captured more than 100,000 hours of sound data to better understand habitat use and aspects of breeding biology. This information is vital for guiding conservation tasks to protect the Night Parrots from feral animals, wildfire and grazing pressure from cattle and kangaroos.
The species has since been placed on the list of 20 priority bird species as part of the Federal Government’s Threatened Species Strategy.
Sanctuary at Pullen Pullen Reserve is critical for this special bird that still could be lost forever if we don’t work together for the long term to protect it.
– Rob Murphy, Bush Heritage’s Executive Manager North
What Pullen Pullen protects
Pullen Pullen Reserve is located in a bioregion that's under-represented in the National Reserve System.
The region is home to other endangered and vulnerable birds such as the Plains-wanderer (critically endangered), Painted Honeyeater(vulnerable), and Grey Falcon, and mammals such as the Kowari and Dusky Hopping-mouse.
The reserve’s landscape features sandstone, claystone and siltstone plateaus (or mesas), skirted by long unburnt spinifex that's important roosting and breeding habitat for Night Parrots.
Away from the plateaus, extensive gibber plains support chenopod shrublands that are dissected by braided watercourses lined with gidgee and mulga.