Scientists hopeful endangered parrot species survived WA blaze

Scientists hopeful endangered parrot species survived WA blaze

20 November 2006

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Australia — The Department of Environment and Conservation is optimistic a bushfire in the Fitzgerald River National Park, in southern Western Australia, has not had a major impact on a population of critically endangered birds.

The fire was started by lightning strikes on Thursday and burnt about 1,500 hectares of bush at the northern boundary of the park, which is an important habitat for the elusive western ground parrot.

Department scientist Mike Bath says about half the ground parrot’s habitat was destroyed in the fire, but there is enough vegetation left to sustain them.

Mr Bath says he is hopeful most of the birds have escaped the fire.

“We’ve been monitoring breeding birds this year and from what we know they should have finished the whole nesting process,” he said.

“The young should have been able to fly at this point or are at least old enough to be able to get out of the way of a fire so that’s goodnews.”

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