Malleefowl land in Dryandra

Michael TraillNarrogin Observer
DBCA workers releasing a malleefowl into Dryandra.
Camera IconDBCA workers releasing a malleefowl into Dryandra.

Dryandra Woodland has welcomed its newest resident species, the ground-dwelling malleefowl bird.

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions hopes the five malleefowl will eventually establish a permanent population in the Wheatbelt habitat.

A malleefowl bird after being released into Dryandra.
Camera IconA malleefowl bird after being released into Dryandra. Credit: Picture: DBCA, DBCA

DBCA conservation co-ordinator Peter Lacey said the threatened species was rarely found in the western Wheatbelt.

“We’ve introduced five malleefowl into Dryandra — three of those went into the predator-proof enclosure, and the other two went into an area where we recently detected malleefowl,” he said.

“The reason we wanted to introduce malleefowl into Dryandra is that we’re trying to introduce species that were common in the reserve.

“Dryandra used to have a resident population. We still have malleefowl visiting regularly, but we haven’t seen any nests or mounds in there for some time.”

Mr Lacey hoped the introduction of the birds would have a flow-on effect on the rest of Dryandra’s native inhabitants.

“One of the things we have lost from our woodlands or have a reduced level of is digging animals,” he said.

“A lot of our flora are disturbance specialists.

“They need some kind of disturbance — a major one is by fire but another way is disturbance by animals, to get them to regenerate.

“By adding those animals into the reserve, we’re hoping that we’ll get back some of the rarer flora and help some of the existing flora.

“All of that flora that will regenerate are those smaller shrubby-type plants that add protection for the animals by providing cover.”

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