The search for the elusive night parrot continues in outback Queensland with audio technology now being used to listen for the birds’ call.
Recorders are being placed in paddocks at Noonbah Station, south-west of Longreach to record the call of the elusive night parrots at dawn and dusk.
Night parrots have already been detected north-west of Noonbah at Goneaway and Diamantina National Park as well as at Pullen Pullen Reserve.
Ecologist with the Queensland Naturalists’ Club, Harry Hines, said they are keen to see if the population extends south.
“There’s a chance, particularly given the proximity to Goneaway, Diamantina and Pullen Pullen, where we know there is a small group of birds at the moment,” he said.
The night parrot was considered to be extinct, with no photos of the bird on record.
Small numbers of parrots have since been located across remote areas of the state and very recently in Western Australia.
Station owner also an avid naturalist
Noonbah Station is located south-east of Goneaway National Park where the night parrot was found only this year.
Station owner and avid naturalist, Angus Emmott, will move the two audio recorders around his property for the next two months.
“I’m confident there is a reasonable chance of hearing the call of the night parrot because it’s the same piece of habitat as the Goneaway Tablelands,” Mr Emmott said.
“The night parrots in this part of the world like [to feed on] the long-unburned spinifex (Triodia longiceps).”
The recorders have been programmed to only record for an hour and a half at dawn and dusk — the time when Mr Hines said the night parrots were likely to call.
The audio will then be put through a computer program where the birds’ calls will be picked up.
Mr Hines said the information would then be passed on to interested parties.
“We will contribute that to a much broader scale project that the University of Queensland is doing, surveying populations of night parrots,” he said.
Ultimately, it will be up to Mr Emmott whether the presence of night parrots on his property is made public, as the bird’s elusive and rare nature is highly valued.
Source: ABC News Australia