National Malleefowl Recovery Group

News detail

Jun 1, 2013

National Coordinator appointed

The National Malleefowl Recovery Team has recently appointed Tim Burnard as coordinator to help save this iconic bird.
Category: General
Posted by: tim

As a part of his introduction, Tim will be visiting Western Australia in September to meet people involved in Malleefowl Preservation work, take part in the Babakin training days and look at some of the important sites across the state.

The Malleefowl is listed nationally as Vulnerable and for every threatened species in Australia (listed in the EPBC Act) there is a Recovery Plan. The Recovery Plan sets out all of the actions necessary to stop the decline of, and support the recovery of Malleefowl and aims to maximise the long term survival in the wild of the species. Tim’s role is to assist in implementing actions from the National Malleefowl Recovery Plan.

In the short term this will include assisting community groups across Australia in the National Monitoring Program. Over the years, the number of people involved in Malleefowl monitoring has grown to hundreds of volunteers that gather data from over 3000 mounds each year. One of Tim’s jobs is to ensure data is gathered in a uniform way and fed into the National Malleefowl Monitoring Database. The data collected from the monitoring underpins many of the recovery actions and the Adaptive Management Project, which will combine database information with information on the many elements that might have contributed to the question of why a population might have gone up or down. Assisting the team to gather this other information will be another big part of Tim’s work.

The Adaptive Management Team have a three year timeframe to use statistic modelling to crunch all the data into information detailing what sorts of actions will be most likely to produce benefits for Malleefowl populations. Examples of the sort of information are: fox control and annual timing that will have the most effect, the amount of goat control needed, fire management regimes and grazing practices.

Some people might argue that this is just common sense and that we need to do all of these things to help save the Malleefowl. The problem is that there’s just not the money to do it all across the vast range of our bird...we have to be strategic and do work where it will have the best results. Added to this is the fact that past actions have had mixed results, even with something as seemingly obvious as fox control.

 When the project is completed, the Adaptive Management Team will work with the National Recovery Team to turn all the information into straight forward action guidelines that can be used across Australia. They will also be able to identify where and when these actions are going to have the best impacts on saving our much loved Malleefowl.