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Perhaps the Australian “ghost” bird, which has been missing for a century, can be saved – RB

Maybe we can save the Australian “ghost” bird, which has been missing for a century – RB

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Maybe you can save the Australian “ghost” bird, missing for a century – RB

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Maybe we can save the Australian “ghost” bird, missing for a century – RB

SCIENCE

There have been very few sightings of the nocturnal parrot, which remains an endangered species: missing for a century, the Australian “ghost” bird has been found

January 9 2022

There are many species of protected animals, in danger of extinction . Some species have instead disappeared definitively, and some even in recent times . Sometimes it happens instead that an animal is on the verge of extinction, or that it is about to be declared extinct, and then instead makes a random appearance that it changes its fate , as happened to this little animal.

This is also the case of the nocturnal parrot , also known as a bird ” ghost ”Australian. After 140 years of silence , a new sighting. That changes everything.

The nocturnal parrot

Its scientific name is Pezoporus occidentalis, and it is a small yellow and green budgie , with black spots on the wings. It is endemic to Australia , and for more than a century, for 140 years, he was missing. There had been no sightings.

The nickname “ghost bird” comes not only from its incredible elusiveness, but it is also how some oral accounts of the aboriginal tribes that inhabit Australia described it.

However, it remains a very elusive animal : it is a bird nocturnal , which lives on the ground and takes refuge among the blades of dry and pointed grass of the most isolated and inaccessible regions of Australia. Often even more than 1500 kilometers from the nearest city.

Before the last sightings, all that was known about the nocturnal parrot was in the diaries of amateur ornithologists and the small number of specimens in museums. But sightings can be counted on the fingers of one hand : the first in 1845, then the official one in 1861 and others in the following centuries. In 2012, Smithsonian Magazine put the nocturnal parrot on top of its list of the most mysterious birds .

The latest findings say they are extremely noisy animals, particularly right away after sunset, when looking for food and water, and just before dawn.

New sightings of the nocturnal parrot

The sightings are by the naturalist John Young , in a corner very remote of Australia. “It was like we found Elvis working in a fast food restaurant in the suburbs,” said Sean Dooley, of Bird Life Australia.

The sightings were made in a cattle station, that is, in a large farm specialized in cattle breeding, in Queensland.

The discovery dates back to 2013, and was a lump sum. Since then, armies of local rangers and scientists have explored the most inaccessible areas of Australia: and in recent months research of new specimens of nocturnal parrot has finally brought to the desired results i . With the objective, now more likely, to be able to save the species .

The first significant step forward was made in 2015, when a group of scientists found a colony of parrots night near the John Young sighting site. They managed to attach a small gps to the paw of one of these samples: the battery lasted 11 minutes , but it was enough.

It revealed that the main habitat of nocturnal parrots in Queensland consisted of in areas of hard grass grass, which is called triodia, near water sources and seed-rich floodplains.

A new colony was discovered in 2017 by a member of an Aboriginal tribe in sanctuary area of Ngururrpa, and from there the nocturnal parrot population has increased dramatically. Today there are 14 “families” of parrots nocturnal in Western Australia.

In recent months , the sightings are increased even more drastically . To take care of the populations there are the scientists, but also the rangers and the aboriginal tribes. The hopes of saving the species are now stronger than ever, but the risk of extinction is still around the corner : the specimens are few and their predators, climate change and an increasingly endangered habitat do not help.