Elusive night parrot seen in Western Australia

Steve Murphy

Derek Barry Canberra Times AUGUST 24 2020 – 5:30AM

The elusive night parrot has been spotted in Western Australia.

Rangers in Western Australia’s remote northern salt lake country have the spotted the bird, once believed to be extinct but recently found in north-west Queensland.

Martu people’s Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa rangers and University of Queensland researchers placed five sound recorders in the Pilbara desert and an analysis of the data by the university’s Stephen Murphy and PhD student Nick Leseberg confirmed the bird’s call at two locations.

The bird was believed to be extinct but Mount Isa bird expert Rex Whitehead says the night parrot still exists in North West Queensland.

However in 2018 Bush Heritage Australia spotted and photographed a young night parrot on their Pullen Pullen reserve in western Queensland.

A study released in June found that one of the reasons why the parrot was endangered was that it has poor vision.

An international study found the bird’s critically endangered parrot’s visual system is not as well-adapted to life in the dark as would be expected for a nocturnal bird, raising concerns it might be adversely impacted by fencing in the outback.

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