Tag Archives: rare

This bird was nearly extinct. Now, its population could double thanks to an ‘epic’ breeding season

By Leah Asmelash and Brian Ries, CNN

from CNN

The orange-fronted parakeet is one of the rarest birds in New Zealand, but its population may have doubled after an “epic” season of mating.Staff with the nation’s Department of Conservation say they found at least 150 orange-fronted parakeets have been born this season alone. They discovered 31 new wild parakeet nests — three times the number of nests in recent years.The new births have the potential to double the current population, said Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage in a statement. And the lovemaking could continue for several more months, as beech trees in the region continue to have one of their largest mast seasons in over 40 years.

Mast is the botanical name for nuts, seeds, buds, or fruits that are produced by trees and shrubs and eaten by wildlife.”There has been so much seed on the beech trees, the birds just keep on breeding, with some parakeet pairs onto their fifth clutch of eggs,” Sage said. “This year’s epic breeding provides a much-needed boost to the kākāriki karaka population.”Without such a large beech mast, the birds typically only have just one or two clutches of eggs.

There are currently less than 300 orange-fronted parakeets in existence

The orange-fronted parakeet was once thought to be extinct, but was rediscovered in 1993. The current population is thought to be anywhere between 100 and 300 birds, which is why this mating season is so significant.Conservation efforts in the country have helped increase the population, with organizations breeding the birds and then releasing them into the wild.The birds aren’t the only ones benefiting from the higher beech mast. The increase in seeds also means more rats, stoats and feral cats — all of which pose risks to the bird. Sage said the department’s next steps are to focus on protecting the birds from the rising number of predators.


Animal lovers chasing glimpse of rare species fuel tourism boom but can create headaches

ABC Kimberley By Erin Parke

Discoveries of rare and endangered animals in Australia’s remote deserts have prompted mini tourism booms, but they are also causing some headaches for local Aboriginal rangers and their conservation efforts.

Bird obsessives, known as twitchers, have descended on remote sites in the wake of rare parrot sightings, such as the rediscovery of the princess parrot by rangers in 2012 in the Northern Territory.

“The scientists got really happy because it was the first one around that area, followed by all the birdwatchers,” said Anangu Luritjiku ranger Terrence Abbott.

“They wanted more details, so we tried to make it sort of secret at first because we didn’t want everyone arriving on a big bus.”

But the location soon leaked and lit up birdwatching chat pages online — and the twitchers started to arrive.

“We’ve got a permit system out there, but these ones here were illegal visitors without a permit.”

“When we went out there to patrol the area, we saw one tourist with a ladder on the top of his car, so we went and had a chat with him,” Mr Abbott said.

It’s a growing issue in areas where local Aboriginal rangers are making regular scientific breakthroughs, documenting the presence of animals thought to be extinct or only found in small geographical pockets.

The discoveries often come on Aboriginal-owned land where visitors — campers, fishermen or animal enthusiasts — require a permit to enter, something the rangers said many tourists did not realise.

The number of permit systems is growing in outback Australia; there are six in the Kimberley region of Western Australia alone, with most costing less than $50, including camping.

Bird-related tourism boom

Animal-inspired spike in tourism have helped fund ranger work and create local jobs.

After the night parrot — so rare it’s been referred to as the million-dollar bird — was photographed in the Great Sandy Desert in 2017, the number of visitor permits sold jumped 80 per cent.

Paruku head ranger Jamie Brown said they kept the news quiet for awhile to make sure the birds were protected.

“We were really worried because we didn’t want a big impact of lots of people coming in, and we didn’t know how to manage all of them as well as the bird,” he said.

“These twitchers, they love all sorts of birds, and this is a really rare one, so we could have a big run of people if we’d put it out straight away.”

“Most people who visit here do the right thing, they get their permit and they are respectful.

“Being a ranger is really good — it’s not just about the animals, we are getting more young people in to work with us and get out on country and learn from the old people.”