The low-flying night parrot was thought to be extinct until spotted again in 2013 by a wildlife photographer John Young. He managed to snap a photo and a video of the rare parrot, which sent the conservation community into frenzy.
As a result last week the Australian government approved a 56,000 hectare sanctuary in southwestern Queensland, which will be managed by Bush Heritage Australia. The site will be fitted with surveillance cameras to deter poacher and traps to keep feral animals at bay. The location very much like its new resident will remain cloaked in secrecy.
“It’s such an iconic bird and probably the holy grail for bird watcher. At the moment it remains the only population of night parrots in the world, which is why it’s so intriguing.” says Jim Radford, the manager of Bush Heritage science and research. Mr Radford estimates that there could be a population of up to 30 birds in the reserve.
Since the 1970s there has been only a few sightings but no confirmed reports of the rare parrot. This small green and yellow bird was very common in the 1800s until it was virtually wiped out by predators. The night parrot is on the list of 20 priority bird species as part of the federal government’s Threatened Species Strategy.
The new reserve will be called Pullen Pullen (the Aboriginal name for the parrot).
For more information on the project visit the Bush Heritage Australia website.