Publication Details

Baker, J. R., Whelan, R. J., Evans, L., Moore, S. & Norton, M. (2010). Managing the Ground Parrot in its fiery habitat in south-eastern Australia. Emu: austral ornithology, 110 (4), 279-284.


The Ground Parrot (Pezoporus wallicus) is a rare and iconic endemic of heathlands in southern Australia. It is threatened by frequent and widespreadfire. The species has been an integral element in the development of our understanding of the impacts offire regimes in heathlands and is an integral part of conservation management of thesefire-prone ecosystems. This long-term study documents the densities of Ground Parrots in three areas of long-unburnt habitat in southernNewSouth Wales. Using area searches and aural surveys, we estimated densities of Ground Parrots at Barren Grounds Nature Reserve–Budderoo National Park (1983–2009), Beecroft Weapons Range (1997–2008) and Nadgee Nature Reserve (1995–2009). At each location, the species occurred in long-unburnt habitat (20 years post-fire), sometimes at high densities (2 birds per 10 ha). We recommend that, in south-eastern Australia, fire should not be used to manipulate the ecological functioning of habitat for the persistence of Ground Parrot populations and conclude that there should be areaspecific adaptive management plans that specify how the important elements of the biodiversity will be conserved and how this will be measured.



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