Malleefowl may be few and far between in WA, but thanks to a newly formed community group this may soon be a thing of the past.
The WA Malleefowl Recovery Group (WAMRG) is a community lead volunteer group and its members represent a wide range of interests -some are farmers, members of community groups, scientists, non-for-profit organisation leaders and government employees.
The WAMRG’s purpose is to promote and implement Malleefowl conservation across all of WA. They also hope to increase community awareness of this unique bird, promote the retention of its habitat and help implement the goals and objectives of the National Malleefowl Recovery Plan.
Clearing of vital habitat has been the major factor in the decline of Malleefowl. This clearing has not only removed Malleefowl habitat, but also threatens remaining habitat due to fragmentation and dryland salinity. Predation by the introduced fox, and to a lesser extent by cats and raptors, is also a major cause of mortality of Malleefowl.
The WAMRG group recently met in Perth for its inaugural AGM and more than 10 keen community members were voted onto the management committee. Future conservation activities were also discussed and a big emphasis was placed on raising public awareness of the threatened bird species, while also maintaining current monitoring activities.
Harriet Davie is the inaugural Chairperson for the group and said it was wonderful to have so many enthusiastic people from a broad range of backgrounds become committee members of the newly formed WAMRG.
“We are indeed grateful for those who have been involved in other Malleefowl community groups in bringing their knowledge and expertise to this new group,” he said.
“Many active members of the community are key players in undertaking monitoring of this unusual and iconic bird, and we will strive to ensure this continues and is maintained with the assistance of the landowners on whose properties the Malleefowl persist.
“The Group has a big task ahead of it, in raising awareness and continuing the conservation efforts that has been instrumental in protecting the Malleefowl in WA, and we welcome the opportunity to work closely with the National Malleefowl Recovery Team to promote conservation efforts in WA.”
Liz Kington is WA Project Officer for the National Malleefowl Recovery Team and was present at the AGM. She said the National Malleefowl Recovery Team saw the establishment of the WAMRG as an important organisation to the future recovery of the Malleefowl in WA.
“The NMRT look forward to working with this new group that will be in a position to coordinate State-wide Malleefowl monitoring and recovery initiatives on behalf of its WA community members.”
You can find more information about the group (including how you can become a member) at www.facebook.com/WAMalleefowl/ or follow them on Twitter @WaMalleefowl