Harold Park – A haven for Malleefowl

The elusive Malleefowl might soon make an appearance on Charles Wass’ property after he recently finished installing a 2.3km section of fencing on his 1,700 hectare farm ‘Harold Park’ located south-west of Coorow.

The fencing is now protecting 159 hectares of bushland from the detrimental effects of livestock grazing.

Earlier this month, Charles’ brother DJ, and two his nieces, helped show NACC Bushcare Officer  Vanessa Brown around the property including the now-completed fencing.

Charles said that he had always planned to fence-off this piece of bushland before the livestock entered and damaged it, so was pleased to finally have the fence up.

“It’s better to prevent livestock damage in the first place, than to have to repair and revegetate it later,” he said. 

Vanessa said that she was thrilled to learn that Charles had ‘the right’ mind-set – as protecting the environment while it is still in excellent condition is much preferable to fixing the negative impacts later.

Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata) may also be present on the property – a species that is considered rare In Western Australia, or is likely to become extinct. The Malleefowl is a large ground-dwelling bird with strong feet and a short bill that occurs in semi-arid parts of mainland Australia – usually in mallee eucalypt woodlands. The Malleefowl does not build a nest like most other birds, but instead it uses its strong feet to scrape large amounts of leaf litter and sand together into a large pile or mound. It then lays its eggs into a cavity at the top of the mound, which it then covers over. As the leaf litter begins to compost, it generates heat which then incubates the eggs, meaning that the Malleefowl doesn’t have to spend hours and days and weeks sitting on them.

“With such unique birds, and many other wonderful native wildlife utilising the bushland on the property, it becomes even more important to protect, as many of these animals are threatened by habitat los,” said Vanessas.

This project is supported by the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.


Information source: Birdlife Australia.

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