The night parrot is a small parrot endemic to the continent of Australia. It is well known as being one of the most elusive and mysterious birds in the world, with no confirmed sightings of the bird between 1912 and 1979, leading to speculation that it was extinct. Sightings since 1979 have been rare and the bird's population size is unknown, though based on the paucity of records it is thought to number between 50 and 249 mature individuals; the first photographic and video evidence of a live individual was publicly confirmed in July 2013. After seventeen thousand hours in the field over 15 years of searching, wildlife photographer John Young captured several photos and a 17-second video of the bird in western Queensland. In August 2015, the tagging and tracking of a live individual was announced on Australian media. Other live individuals were photographed in Queensland in late 2016, sightings recorded in Western Australia and South Australia in 2017. A young bird hatched in late 2017, was recorded in February 2018.
John Young was found to have used fake feathers and eggs along with archived recordings of the bird for much of his work in QLD and SA. His findings have been branded "fake news" by his peers. Ornithologist John Gould described the night parrot in 1861, from a specimen—the holotype—that was collected 13 km southeast of Mt Farmer, west of Lake Austin in Western Australia, its specific epithet is Latin occidentalis "western". The species was placed within its own genus by Gould, though consensus soon swung in favour of placing it in Pezoporus. Gould had posited a relationship to the kakapo based on similarity of the plumage, however Murie concluded they were markedly different anatomically. Despite its close relationship with the ground parrot, its placement in the genus Pezoporus was uncertain, with some authorities leaving it in its own genus, as data on the night parrot was so limited. A 1994 molecular study using the cytochrome b of several parrot species confirmed the close relationship of the taxa and consensus for its placement in Pezoporus.
It revealed that the kakapo was not related to Pezoporus. Analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences in a 2011 study showed that the night parrot most diverged from the ancestor of the eastern and western ground parrots around 3.3 million years ago. Alternate common names include porcupine parrot, nocturnal ground parakeet, midnight cockatoo, spinifex parrot and night parakeet. A small and short-tailed parrot, the species' colour is predominantly a yellowish green, mottled with dark brown and yellows. Both sexes have this coloration, it is distinguished from the two superficially similar ground parrot species by its shorter tail and different range and habitat. Predominantly terrestrial, taking to the air only when panicked or in search of water, the night parrot has furtive, nocturnal habits and—even when it was abundant—was a secretive species, its natural habitat appears to be the spinifex grass which still dominates much of the dry, dusty Australian interior. It may inhabit chenopod shrublands, eucalyptus woodlands, mallee shrublands.
One of the vocalisations of the night parrot has been described as a croak and identified as a contact call. Other calls short'ding-ding' whistles, a more drawn out whistle, have been recorded from Queensland and Western Australia. Historic sources indicate that night parrot eats seeds of herbs; the population size of this species assumed to be continuing to decline. As of 2012, it is listed on the IUCN Red List as Endangered, having been listed as Critically Endangered. According to the IUCN Red List the night parrot has a population of 50–249 or larger, it is listed as Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 by the Australian government. The night parrot remains one of mysterious birds in the world of ornithology. Reliable records of the bird have been few and far between, with efforts to locate the species proving fruitless after an authenticated report from 1912. Ornithologists continued to patrol the outback for traces checking the old nests of other birds, such as the zebra finch, for fragments of night parrot feathers.
In 1979, ornithologist Shane Parker from the South Australian Museum spotted an apparent flock of the birds in the far north of South Australia. A roadkill specimen was discovered in 1990 by scientists returning from an expedition in a remote part of Queensland, three individuals were seen in 2005 near Minga Well, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. In 2006, rangers found a dead specimen which had flown into a barbed wire fence in the Diamantina National Park in south western Queensland. Recent sightings of the bird: April 2005, Pilbara region of Western Australia and near the Fortescue Marshes. September 2006, dead female, Diamantina National Park. May 2013, first photograph and video footage of a living specimen and discovery of the first known resident population of the species. Subsequent DNA testing of feathers found confirms. 2016, Young announced he had found night parrots in Diamantina National Park, adjacent to the Pullen Pullen nature reserve. Seven sightings were recorded, including three active nests with eggs.
September 2016, a camera trap recorded what appears to be a night parrot near Lake Eyre in South Australia.
The chestnut-breasted quail-thrush is a small endemic Australianbird, predominantly found within the semi-arid desserts of New South Wales and Perth. The Chestnut-breasted Quail Thrush is located within north western New South Wales, western Queensland and much of Western Australia, they are predominantly found within semi-arid zones featuring sparse woody shrubs, herbaceous vegetation and hummock grasses. The Chestnut-breasted Quail Thrush breeds during the winter semester. Eggs have been reported being laid at the end of months which have received heavy rain in the early weeks. Chestnut-breasted Quail Thrush predominantly lays two eggs per clutch in a nest located on the ground in a slight depression, it is 5 cm deep and 15 cm wide and constructed of mulga leaves and hop-bush bark Dodonoea adenophora. The nests are hidden amongst a low hop bush, part of a Mulga-Box association; the nest is hidden behind a curtain of leaves and bark. The nests are frequented by related mature and juvenile individuals, only the mature individuals feed the young.
If juveniles came too close to the nest they are chased away by the mature male. Juveniles are distinguishable by their incomplete bar below the chestnut breast. All nest attendees, including hatchlings will render themselves motionless in the presence of predators such as crows Corvus orru and the wedge-tailed eagle Aquila audax, they have been known to chase away crested bellbirds Oreoica gutturalis, grey-crowned babblers Pomatostomus temporalis, chestnut-crowned babblers Pomatostomus ruficeps and Hall’s babblers Pomatostomus halli. Common call: Piping whistle of two and three short notes; this is not made by the female. When alarmed: One or two insect like noises, sounding similar to the call of the Myzomela nigra; this is made by both sexes. Cinclosoma is best described as two clusters of taxa; the first most related cluster consisting of C. cinnamomeurn, C. alisteri, C. castaneothorax and C. marginatum. The second cluster, less related consists of C. punctatum, C. ajax and C. castanotum. The first cluster has developed due to allopatric speciation and sub-speciation within Australia's deserts.
The second cluster has occurred due to parapatry between wet country. The territories of many subspecies overlap both temporally and spatially, yet the parapatric borders between C. cinnamomeum and C. castaneothorax coincide with sharp environmental changes removing competition between the two subspecies. It is believed that all Cinclosoma taxa share a common ancestor which lived in Australia’s warm wet forests. It’s descendants spread across Australia’s deserts through a leapfrog distribution pattern of evolution; this pattern of distribution is believed to be the reason for all semi-arid Cinclosoma taxa sharing camouflaged plumage. Male and female Chestnut-breasted Quail Thrush are identifiable due to their different plumage. • Male plumage: glossy black throat. • Female plumage: Throat and malar region are orange-buff, eyebrow is the same colour. The breast is pale merges into a dull-cinnamon on the flanks. Underside is an olive-brown and rum reddish-brown with indistinct darker streaks
South West Queensland
South West Queensland is a remote region in the Australian state of Queensland which covers 319,808 km2. The region lies to the south of Central West Queensland and west of the Darling Downs and includes the Maranoa district and parts of the Channel Country; the area is noted for its cattle cotton farming, opal mining and oil and gas deposits. At the federal level the whole region is encompassed by the Division of Maranoa. Local Government areas included in the region are Maranoa Region, Shire of Balonne, Shire of Paroo, Shire of Murweh, Shire of Bulloo and the Shire of Quilpie. South West Queensland has a population of 26,489; the region is serviced by the ABC Western Queensland radio station. Aboriginal society traded objects based on need; the South West region of Queensland was the primary source of the traded plant Duboisia hopwoodii, from which a traditional chewing tobacco was made. Eastern parts of the region around the upper reaches of the Warrego River were explored by Thomas Mitchell in 1845.
It wasn't until after William Landsborough explored the area during his 1862 expedition that settlers began to take up pastoral runs. In 1860, Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills began an expedition from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria to explore large areas of inland Australia which remained unknown to the European settlers. A pivotal meeting place or depôt camp used by the expedition was located at Bullah Bullah Waterhole on Cooper Creek. After failing to reach the northern coastline due to the mangrove swamps of the Flinders River delta the party of four set off for the return journey short on supplies. Charles Gray died on the way leaving three of the party who managed to return to Cooper Creek on 21 April 1861, only to find the other half of the party had just left for Menindee nine hours earlier. A tree at the camp was used to mark the location of a food cache, it became the resting place for Burke who died of malnourishment after they ran low on supplies amid controversial and tragic circumstances.
Wills died from weakness and malnourishment downstream at Breerily Waterhole. John King was the sole survivor of the party; the expedition's journals and maps inspired pastoralists and opened up of vast tracts of Queensland to pastoral settlement. Western parts of the region receive an average of 150 mm annual rainfall. Further east around St. George, receives an average of 500 mm per year. Limited access to water in the region restricted early pastoralism. After artesian bore water had been discovered and developed the lands were able to support sheep and not just cattle. A Cobb & Co factory and was built at Charleville in 1893. During the 1880s coach services expanded into the region. Cobb & Co was Australia's most famous historical coaching firm and once provided passenger and mail services across the country, they produced an eight-passenger coach that gained repute for its strength and the forgiving suspension. In 1922, QANTAS began its first regular flights from Charleville; the northern extent of the Sturt Stony Desert lies within the region around the location known as Cameron Corner.
Part of the Cooper Basin is located in the region. The basin contains natural gas deposits in Australia. Near Roma at Hospital Hill, Australia's first natural gas strike was made. Oil was found in the region in 1961; the Eromanga Basin located in South West Queensland has been explored and developed for petroleum production. Commercial quantities of gas were first discovered in 1976 and oil in 1978; the Tookoonooka crater is a large impact crater located in the region, however it is not visible at the surface. Major towns of South West Queensland include Charleville, Augathella, Thargomindah, St George and Cunnamulla. Cunnamulla has the biggest wool-loading station on the Queensland railway network. Australia's largest cotton farm, Cubbie Station near St George, covers 93,000 hectares. Smaller towns in the region include Amby, Jackson, Muckadilla, Surat, Yuleba, Bollon, Dirranbandi, Mungindi, Thallon, Eulo, Tuen, Yowah, Bakers Bend, Nive, Thargomindah, Noccundra, Norley, Quilpie, Cheepie and Toompine.
Cooladdi is a ghost town with a population of just six. Historical geographical records have suggested changes in the flow of local tertiary sandstone springs have occurred since the 1880s. Blasting was used to enhance spring flow and causing its destruction as with bores and dams. Only 45% of springs that were documented in the south west queensland records, remain. Waterways coursing through South West Queensland include the Warrego, Merivale and its tributary the Bokhara River, Culgoa and Cooper Creek; the Balonne is used for an extensive irrigation network. The Bulloo River system is the only closed river system in Australia. A number of national parks have been declared in the region, including Alton National Park, Chesterton Range National Park, Culgoa Floodplain National Park, Currawinya National Park, Diamantina National Park, Idalia National Park, Lake Bindegolly National Park, Mariala National Park, Thrushton National Park and Tregole National Park. Bowra Sanctuary is a nature reserve near Cunnamulla, managed by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.
Major roads in the region include the Mitchell Highway out of outback New South Wales and the Balonne Highway which travels east from St George to Cunnamulla. The Warrego Highway travels in an east/west direction across the north of the region; the northern tip of the Castlerea
Sir George Ferguson Bowen, GCMG was a British author and colonial administrator whose appointments included postings to the Ionian Islands, New Zealand, Victoria and Hong Kong. Bowen was born the eldest son of rector of Taughboyne in County Donegal. Bowen was educated at Trinity College, Oxford. Bowen, twice President of the Oxford Union, was awarded a first class Bachelor of Arts degree in classics in 1844, was elected a fellow of Brasenose College. Bowen was called to the bar by Lincoln's Inn in 1844 and obtained his Master of Arts three years later. In 1846 Bowen had some naval training, serving for sixteen days on HMS Victory. In 1847 Bowen was appointed president of the Ionian University located in Corfu, a post he held until 1851. Bowen became the chief secretary to the government of the Ionian Islands in 1854. While in that post, he married the Contessa Diamantina di Roma on 28 April 1856. Diamantina was the daughter of Conte Giorgio-Candiano Roma and his wife Contessa Orsola, née di Balsamo.
The Roma family were local aristocracy. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1855 and was advanced to Knight Commander in the following year. In 1859, Bowen was appointed the first Governor of Queensland, a colony that had just been separated from New South Wales. Bowen's influence in Queensland was greater than that of the governors in other Australian colonies in a large part due to Robert Herbert, who accompanied Bowen from England, became colonial secretary and first Premier of Queensland in 1860–66. Bowen was interested in the exploration of Queensland and in the establishment of a volunteer force, but incurred some unpopularity by refusing to sanction the issue of inconvertible paper money during the financial crisis of 1866, but overall, he was quite popular in Queensland, so that the citizens requested an extension of his five-year term as governor, resulting in his staying for further two years. In 1867 Bowen was made Governor of New Zealand, where he was successful in reconciling the Māori reaction to the British rule, saw the end of the New Zealand wars.
Bowen instituted the New Zealand Cross for colonial soldiers, one of the rarest bravery awards in the world and equivalent to the Victoria Cross. In 1869, Albert Hastings Markham, first lieutenant of HMS Blanche submitted a design to Bowen for a national ensign for New Zealand, his proposal, incorporating the Southern Cross, remains in use to this day. In March 1873 Bowen was transferred to Victoria as Governor of Victoria, where he embarked on an endeavour to reduce the expenses of the colony. A political crisis occurred while Bowen took leave in England from January 1875 to January 1876, when the acting governor, Sir William Stawell, showed "too little flexibility in the exercise of his temporary powers". One of the main issues was the perennial conflict between the Victorian Legislative Council and the Victorian Legislative Assembly. In January 1878, backed by advice from the Colonial Office, Bowen consented to premier Graham Berry's plan to break the deadlock by the wholesale dismissal of public servants on so-called "Black Wednesday".
In May that year, Bowen said that "my reluctant consent, purely on constitutional grounds, to these dismissals... has damaged my further reputation and my career to a degree that I shall never recover. It will never be forgotten either in England or in the Colony"; however several others, including Hugh Childers and William Ewart Gladstone, approved of Bowen's actions, he was appointed to subsequent vice-regal posts. Bowen arrived on Mauritius on 4 April 1879 and served as 13th Governor of the colony until 9 December 1880. On 30 March 1883, Bowen was made Governor of Hong Kong. During his tenure, his administration established the Hong Kong Observatory, which served as the meteorological institute of the territory, he founded the first college in Hong Kong, ordered the construction of the Typhoon Shelter in Causeway Bay, a government hospital. He retired in 1887, due to ill health. Bowen returned to England after his time in Hong Kong and was appointed chief of a Royal Commission sent to Malta in December 1887 to help to draft the new constitution for the island.
All recommendations made by the commission were adopted. Afterwards, Bowen was sworn of the Privy Council. Bowen was married twice, his first wife was Contessa Diamantina di Roma, only daughter of Count Candiano di Roma. They had the following children: first child, a son who died when twelve days old, born in the Ionian Islands Adelaide Diamantina Bowen, born 17 August 1858 in the Ionian Islands Zoe Caroline Bowen, born 28 August 1860 at Adelaide House, Queensland Agnes Herbert Bowen, born 26 July 1862 at the first Government House in Brisbane George William Howard Bowen, born 9 April 1864 at the first Government House, in Brisbane Alfreda Ernestina Albertina Bowen, born 10 April 1869 at Old Government House, New ZealandDiamantina died in London in 1893 at about the age of 60. George married Letitia Florence White, in late 1896 at Chelsea, London. Florence was the daughter of Dr Thomas Luby, a mathematician, was the widow of Henry White, whom she had married in 1878. George Ferguson Bowen died on 21 February 1899 in Brighton in Sussex, aged 77 years old.
He died from bronchitis after a short illness of two days. He was buried on 25 February 1899 in Kensal Green cemetery in London; the following
The Australian bustard is a large ground bird inhabiting grassland and open agricultural country across northern Australia and southern New Guinea. It is commonly referred to as the plains turkey, in Central Australia as bush turkey by Aboriginal people, though this name may be used for the Australian brushturkey as well as the orange-footed scrubfowl; the male is up to 1.2 m tall with a 2.3 m wingspan. The average weight for males is 6.3 kg, with a range of 4.3 to 12.76 kg. The female is quite a bit smaller at 80 cm tall, with a 1.8 m wingspan and an average body mass of 3.2 kg in a range of 2.4 to 6.35 kg but is coloured. The largest male recorded was 14.5 kg. Although it is the largest extant flying land bird in Australia, this long-legged bird is the smallest species in the genus Ardeotis; the back and tail are dull brown, mottled black and white markings on the wing coverts. The neck and head appear the crown black. Legs are yellow to cream coloured; when disturbed, Australian bustards adopt a cryptic pose with neck erect and bill pointed skywards.
They may stalk away or run if alarmed, taking flight as a last resort. Populations are nomadic following rain and feed, which includes seeds, centipedes, molluscs, young birds and small rodents; this bird remains common and widespread across most of northern Australia, but its range appears to have contracted in the south-east of the continent during the last century due to hunting, feral predators such as pigs and foxes and habitat destruction. Its nomadic habits make it difficult to assess. In 2012 IUCN downlisted the species to Least Concern; the Australian bustard is not listed as threatened on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The Australian bustard is listed as threatened on the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. Under this Act, an Action Statement for the recovery and future management of this species has been prepared. On the 2007 advisory list of threatened vertebrate fauna in Victoria, this species is listed as critically endangered. Australian Aboriginals refer to this bird as the bush turkey.
It is an important food source for Aboriginal people from Central Australia, is still being killed and eaten today despite its protected status. The white feathers of the bird are used for ceremonial purposes; the Arrernte name for this bird is kere artewe. The Luritja name is kipara; the Larrakia name for this bird is danimila. There are important Dreaming stories associated with the bush turkey. A number of artists painting in the desert today paint bush turkey Dreaming; this means they have been given stories of the origins of the turkey in the Dreamtime and are entitled to tell this story and paint about it. Barossa Valley winery Turkey Flat takes its name from the Australian bustard.'Turkey Flat' was the local name given to Lot 1, 100 of Moorooroo on settlement in reference to the large flocks of the Australian bustard found along the river banks. The winery's logo features an Australian bustard as drawn by Rod Schubert. Frith, H Reader's Digest Complete Book of Australian Birds, 1977 ISBN 0-909486-50-6 Simpson, K and Day, N. Field Guide to the Birds of Australia 7th edition, 2004 ISBN 0-7136-6982-9 NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Threatened Species Information sheet
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service is a business division of the Department of Environment and Science within the Government of Queensland. The division’s primary concern is with the management and maintenance of protected areas within Queensland, to protect and manage Queensland’s parks and the Great Barrier Reef for current and future generations; the QPWS managed areas include more than 1000 national parks, state forests, marine parks and other protected areas, five world heritage areas. Queensland’s first national park, Witches Falls, was established on 28 March 1908, followed by Bunya Mountains National Park in July 1908, Lamington National Park in 1915. From modest early beginnings within the Forestry department, a dedicated national parks service was established in 1975—the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. From that time, park rangers have proudly worn QPWS uniform badge featuring the symbol, which has become one of the most well-recognised symbols in Queensland; the Nature Conservation Act 1992, Marine Parks Act 2004 and Forestry Act 1959 provide guiding legislation for the service.
Leanne Enoch, Minister for Environment and Science is responsible for the department. The agency's head office is located at 400 George Street in the Brisbane central business district. Protected areas in Queensland are needed to provide wildlife habitat to maintain biodiversity and provide opportunities for outdoor nature-based activities. Managing national parks involves protecting a park's natural condition and processes, presenting the park's cultural and natural resources and its values. Managing multiple-use marine parks involves providing refuge areas for species and ecosystems while allowing for continuing recreational and commercial use of the majority of the marine environment. A Master Plan for Queensland's Park System outlines the directions for management of all protected areas in Queensland for the next 20 years. QPWS is responsible for day-to-day management of Queensland’s five World Heritage areas, which are within the protected area estate; these properties are outstanding examples of the world's natural or cultural heritage, provide valuable environmental and economic services for Queensland.
For each park, either a management statement or a management plan is prepared to identify the park's special values and determine ways to ensure those values are preserved, enhanced or maintained. The service employs park rangers who are responsible for constructing and maintaining infrastructure such as camping areas, picnic areas, walking tracks and lookouts providing advice to visitors, recording wildlife data, controlling feral plants and animals, assisting in the preparation of management plans and enforcing park rules. QPWS works with Aboriginal Traditional Owners and, in some places, volunteers, as well as other government departments and organisations to conserve, manage and present Queensland’s most precious natural and cultural places. Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland National Parks Association of Queensland Find a park or forest
A sandhill is a type of ecological community or xeric wildfire-maintained ecosystem. It is not the same as a sand dune, it features short fire return intervals, one to five years. Without fire, sandhills become more oak dominated. Entisols are the typical sandhill soil, nutrient poor. In Florida, sandhills receive 130 cm cm of rainfall per year, just like the more hydric ecosystems surrounding them. Sandhills are xeric. Dominant vegetation includes longleaf pine, American turkey oak, wiregrass. A number of rare animals are typical of this habitat including the gopher tortoise, red-cockaded woodpecker, Sherman's fox squirrel, striped newt. Invasive species that are a problem on sandhills include Cogongrass, camphor laurels, Natal grass. Flatwoods, another ecological community in the coastal plain of North America Florida longleaf pine sandhill Nebraska Sand Hills Monahans Sandhills State Park Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park Fnai.org: Natural Communities Definitions for Florida The Bibliography of Aeolian Research