Observations on breeding Night Parrots (Pezoporus occidentalis) in western Queensland

Stephen A. Murphy, Jeremy J. Austin, Rachel K. Murphy, Jennifer Silcock, Leo Joseph, Stephen T. Garnett, Nicholas P. Leseberg, James E.M. Watson, Allan H. Burbidge

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    Abstract

    A population of Night Parrots (Pezoporus occidentalis) was discovered in 2013 in western Queensland and has become the primary focus of efforts aimed at conserving habitat and protecting the species from extinction. Critical information on nesting habitat and location, breeding season and behaviour, clutch size and breeding success is currently limited to anecdotal 19th-century observations and accounts by early natural historians. Here we describe several breeding attempts at Pullen Pullen Reserve. Our observations include nest and fledgling descriptions, habitat and clutch characteristics, breeding seasonality, adult breeding behaviour and vocalisations. We also identify a King Brown Snake (Pseudechis australis) as the predator responsible for one nesting failure. Our observations confirm historical reports of nesting habitat, egg and clutch size and breeding seasonality and provide important new information on vocalisations and adult behaviour around an active nest. These new data provide a basis for future studies and conservation management of this enigmatic threatened species.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)107-113
    Number of pages7
    JournalEmu
    Volume117
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017

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    Murphy, S. A., Austin, J. J., Murphy, R. K., Silcock, J., Joseph, L., Garnett, S. T., Leseberg, N. P., Watson, J. E. M., & Burbidge, A. H. (2017). Observations on breeding Night Parrots (Pezoporus occidentalis) in western Queensland. Emu, 117(2), 107-113. https://doi.org/10.1080/01584197.2017.1292404