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Malleefowl Muster Ongerup November 5th – 8th 2021

Malleefowl Monitoring with the Badjebup Community

We have been exceptionally lucky in WA in 2021 because we have had just a few days shut down due to covid. We were free to travel around the whole of the state without restriction. The WAMRG has completed all the Malleefowl monitoring in WA this year from Yeelirrie in the North to Ongerup in the south. Our regular team of dedicated monitors completed all our sites, training a new group of enthusiastic volunteers on the way at AWC in Mt Gibson, Dalwallinu, Merredin and at the Muster in Ongerup.

Our accommodation for the Muster in Ongerup was at the Red Moort Research Station, an amazing facility gifted to Bush Heritage by Michael Tichbon and others. This architectural award-winning building has accommodation for about 15 people, with an open kitchen, dining area, a conference and laboratory. It has a huge bank of solar panels and composting toilets. It really is a beautiful place to stay. The property was formerly a farm and is now being managed and revegetated by Bush Heritage.

We had a great group of volunteers from a range of age groups and backgrounds. Our volunteers make being part of the Malleefowl monitoring team so inspiring. It’s amazing to have such enthusiastic people who come to be part of a group doing citizen science to monitor the population of Malleefowl and learning how to use all the technology required to find and record the mounds. At the end of the weekend everyone had mastered the use of the GPS, the Avenza maps and our Cybertracker app. It is especially uplifting when all these efforts are occasionally rewarded when a volunteer sees a bird on the mound doing Malleefowl things. This season many of our volunteers had special moments with these extraordinary birds.

This muster we monitored three large sites around the Ongerup area, Corackerup, Peniup and Red Moort. We divided into several teams with a team leader and two or three volunteers and went off with maps, GPS and our smartphone app to cover all the monitoring. The weather was kind, so it was very a pleasant couple of days monitoring.

On Saturday night we had a delicious BBQ of Haloumi and Mushroom burgers, chicken burgers, salad and carrot cake.

We are so lucky to have the opportunity to be part of such a rewarding Australia wide project.

Maryann Evetts

Image courtesy of Liz Kington