Mallee emu-wren to be brought back to SA

Posted 20 September 2017.

The nationally endangered Mallee emu-wren will be brought back to SA, thanks to funding from the Australian Government’s Threatened Species Recovery Fund.

Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin (SAMDB), together with partners from across Victoria and South Australia, will receive more than $200,000 from a grant under the fund for phase 1 to translocate the threatened Mallee emu-wren (Stipiturus mallee) back to the state.

Mallee emu-wren was one of the winners from the over $3 million announced for threatened species recovery by the Minister for the Environment and the Energy on 7 September.

Natural Resources SAMDB Threatened Fauna Ecologist, Chris Hedger said the project will be seeking to move 60-80 of the tiny birds from Victoria back into their former range within Ngarkat Conservation Park in South Australia, to establish a new population.”

“A series of large wildfires, combined with droughts, saw the endangered Mallee emu-wren become extinct in South Australia in 2014 and numbers of birds have also significantly declined in Victoria,” Mr Hedger said.

“Today, they are primarily found in one key reserve system in north western Victoria, putting them at high risk of extinction due to wildfire. Re-establishing populations via reintroductions is essential to reduce extinction risk and improve their overall population trajectory.”

“This ground-breaking work will greatly improve our understanding of these tiny birds–how best to capture, transport and monitor them–information that will be critical in informing future reintroductions. “

The translocation will draw upon a large team of national experts from the Threatened Mallee Birds Steering Committee, with support from scientists, local community, and critical logistics from regional Rotary groups.

For more information about this project contact your local Natural Resources Centre, Mount Barker on phone 8391 7500, Murray Bridge 8532 9100 or Berri 8580 8100.

This project will be delivered by Natural Resources SAMDB on behalf of the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board, and is funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme and NRM levies, as well as cash and in-kind contributions from all project partners.

Project partners include BirdLife Australia, Zoos SA, the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning, Parks Victoria, Rotary International, La Trobe University, Monash University and Zoos Victoria.

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