Contact Call | Volume 11 Number 2 | March 2022
In the March 2022 issue of Contact Call we launched an appeal for BirdLife Northern Queensland (BNQ) members and supporters to contribute to an appeal to help the Golden-shouldered Parrot through $4$ donations to the Artemis Nature Fund (ANF).
We are pleased to say that $2,549 was raised and BNQ will also contribute $2,000 making a total of $4,259. Thank you to everyone who contributed!
Since then there has been good news for ANF as explained below.
The Australian Government, through the "Environment Restoration Fund – Threatened Species Strategy Action Plan – Priority Species Grants" has pledged ~$130,000 over the next 18 months to help restore parrot habitats on Artemis Station. As part of the deal, Artemis Nature Fund has promised to contribute $60,000 cash.
Golden-shouldered Parrots are declining because their habitats have become choked by invasive native trees. This has allowed ambush predators to kill an unsustainably large number of nestlings, fledglings and adults.
Thanks to the new funding, ANF will be able to make significant gains in tackling the woody thickening problem. With the funding, ANF have promised to:
Restore 50 hectares of habitat: They will continue to restore areas where parrots still occur and expand into areas that parrots have recently abandoned. These areas are 3-6km from occupied territories. Once these new areas are restored, it is expected that parrots will disperse into them and re-establish territories, possibly assisted by supplementary feeding. Recolonisation will demonstrably improve the trajectory of Golden-shouldered Parrots by expanding their current range.
Monitor parrots: A large proportion of parrots on Artemis now wear unique colour leg bands which allows detailed monitoring of individuals. ANF will use camera traps at supplementary feeders to monitor survival rate. They will also count the ratio of marked to unmarked birds at waterholes to calculate population size. Finally, they will monitor nest success annually. Each of these parrot-focused monitoring activities provides a direct way to measure the effectiveness of these actions on parrots.
Monitor vegetation response: Ultra-high resolution, georeferenced drone photos will be taken pre & post-management. This allows accurate measurement of the amount of habitat restored and the type of restoration work (eg clearing vs thinning).
Monitor termite mounds: Golden-shouldered Parrots nest in termite mounds. ANF are monitoring the availability and growth rates of termite mounds to see how this critical resource responds to habitat restoration.
Monitor butcherbirds: Two of the restoration methods leave standing dead trees while the other razes stems to ground level. ANF will track Pied Butcherbirds (a key parrot predator) to determine how these different management outcomes affect predation. They will be using state-of-the-art tracking devices that record bodily movements, which are interpreted as different behaviours. ANF are most interested to see how hunting behaviour changes pre and post-management.
A large reason why the ANF funding application was successful was because of the work over the past couple of years. During that time, they have shown that they can tackle this conservation problem with practical actions. This was only possible because of previous grants and the generous donations from people like you... so thank you!
As noted above, Artemis Nature Fund has promised a ~$60,000 cash co-contribution to the work over the next 18 months. They have set a fund-raising target of $40,000 to supplement funds carried forward. If you can help, please visit https://artemis.org.au/donations/
If you would like more information, please visit https://artemis.org.au/our-work/
BirdLife Northern Queensland are very pleased to have been able to help this beautiful bird and look forward to hearing future news on the progress at Artemis.
You can donate to support the work at Artemis any time! Just visit artemis.org.au, click on the donation heading and follow the prompts to donate.
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