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The National Malleefowl Recovery Team produces a newsletter every Autumn and Spring with all the latest information on events and latest findings called ‘Around The Mounds’

 

You can download the newest edition below, or continue to browse this page for latest news articles.

Keep Up

TO DATE

The National Malleefowl Recovery Team produces a newsletter every Autumn and Spring with all the latest information on events and latest findings called ‘Around The Mounds’

You can download the newest edition below, or continue to brows this page for latest news articles.

LATEST NEWS

BY DAVID KELLETT, RIVERINA LOCAL LAND SERVICES The past six or so months has been quite busy securing funding and working on what direction the…
BY JOE BENSHEMESH NMRT The camera-traps the VMRG placed at 6 sites in 2015 have been producing a bounty of photos, as our team of…

SOCIAL MEDIA

(Sound on) - Malleefowl make several different sounds that can be heard often without seeing the elusive bird, here’s a list of the sound they make.

- Female Malleefowl make a high-pitched grunt.
- Whilst together, usually at the nest mound, the pair make a soft, drawn out cluck.
- As a territorial warning to other Malleefowl, the male makes a loud, booming call.
- When threatened, they make a sharp grunt.
- A pair of Malleefowl sometimes perform what is known as a duet, where one bird calls immediately after the other several times in a row. It is thought the duet serves to maintain the pair bond (check out the video page to see the one we posted last week with this sound!)

This recording was captured by Michael Todd in Victoria
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Fox! A few weeks ago one of the cameras traps from the Gabbin Reserveetup by one of our team members, Liz, captured this fox trying to get to the malleefowl . You can see him taking off and escaping on the right side of the frame.

We suspect this is early morning and the fox is visiting mounds hoping to find one that has eggs exposed. We think that this is how most mounds are raided; too much work for a fox to try to dig up eggs otherwise. Our Adaptive Management Predator Experiment is currently underway to understand the overall impact of fox predation on Malleefowl populations.

The fox (Vulpes vulpes) is a significant cause of mortality of adults, juvenile birds and chicks. Foxes are also known to dig out Malleefowl mounds and take eggs. Foxes find it almost impossible to dig out a fully formed mound due to the loose sand continually sliding back into the hole. If, however, they arrive at a mound that has already been partially dug out by a Malleefowl, they can dig out the remaining soil and take the eggs.
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Listen to the amazing vocalisations made by this malleefowl pair. One bird calls immediately after the other several times in a row. It is thought the duet serves to maintain the pair bond.

Malleefowl make several different sounds that can be heard often without seeing the elusive bird. This was recorded at Adelaide Zoo, head over to our website to see the webcam footage of these incredible birds.

Recorded by Graeme Tonkin at Adelaide Zoo
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Did you know Leipoa ocellata is the scientific name of the malleefowl? As with many scientific names, it is a derivative from the bird's behavior/biology/appearance.⁠

Leipoa comes from Leip(ein) - to leave + Õi - egg. Alludes to the bird's habit of leaving its eggs in a mound after laying them.⁠

ocellata means "eyes marked" - Gould (who named this species) thought the larger spots on the feather pattern resembled eyes, or 'ocellae', hence the species name of ocellata.
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One of our camera traps caught the exact moment this female Malleefowl laid an egg. This will be one of the many eggs laid during the breeding season.⁠

“The eggs are laid at intervals of a few days, and, since there is a very large number, three or four months pass before all eggs are produced. As each egg is placed in the warm nest it begins to incubate; long before the last egg is laid the first eggs have hatched and the chicks have run away to begin their solitary life.”⁠

Excerpt From: Graeme Tonkin. “Malleefowl.” Graeme Tonkin, 2017. Available for free on Apple Books: books.apple.com/au/book/malleefowl/id1313712686
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Here is a selection of images showcasing the different stages and the evolution of a Malleefowl mound. What an incredible system.

The caption on each photo will tell you more about what you are looking at!
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A timelapse made over a period of 17hours shows how tall the mound gets and just how much soil and leaf litter this pair of Malleefowl is moving around! ... See MoreSee Less

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Camera traps are an integral part of Malleefowl monitoring. They are triggered by motion in front of their sensors and start recording photos and videos.⁠

The array you see here is testing the sensitivity settings on the camera traps to find the best compromise between sensitivity and number of triggers (photos/videos). Some camera models are more sensitive to movement than others and this can means tens of thousands of false triggers per year due to foliage and shadow movement rather than animals.⁠

Too many false triggers slows processing and sorting the photos by volunteers and makes things very tedious and this is why this array was setup to work out the best settings.
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An update from our project partner Wimmera CMA on this year's malleefowl monitoring program. We are glad to be able to work with NRM groups across the country to ensure that monitoring is consistent and done in a way that allows us to estimate the conservation status of malleefowl as a species.

Threatened Species Recovery Hub

#savingmalleefowl
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This project is supported through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.