One of the world’s most elusive and mysterious birds has been photographed for a second time by an isolated team of Indigenous rangers in Western Australia’s Kimberley.
The rare photo of the critically endangered night parrot was taken in October at a secret location in the Great Sandy Desert and was released this month.
It is the second time the Paruku Rangers have photographed and recorded the species using a camera trap. The first was last year.
The photographs are the only two known camera trap images of the bird taken outside the population at the Pullen Pullen Reserve in Queensland, a designated sanctuary for night parrots.
Paruku Ranger coordinator Jamie Brown said the second photograph and hundreds of audio recordings of the bird were evidence of an important night parrot population in the desert.
“As custodians for this country we feel very proud to be looking after the night parrot,” Mr Brown said.
“Our aim as rangers is to identify where we have a strong night parrot population and work intensely to protect that area.”
“We want to look after the night parrot for our children and our children’s children.”
The Paruku Rangers recently brought together top scientists, rangers and elders for a night parrot workshop at Lake Gregory, where they discussed the best ways of protecting the species.
“Fire, foxes and cats are the biggest threats to night parrots on Paruku country,” Mr Brown said.
“We try to stop these threats by undertaking early season burning to reduce the impact of destructive bushfires and putting in place feral animal management plans.”
The Paruku Rangers were recently awarded an $80,000 Commonwealth grant to continue their work looking after the night parrot habitat and to help protect other threatened species such as the Greater Bilby.
By Wendy Caccetta