Malleefowl land in Dryan­dra Wood­land habi­tat

Great Southern Herald - - News - Michael Traill

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.

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.”

Pic­ture: Lau­rie Ben­son

Pic­ture: DBCA

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