Meandering Malleefowl Mollified

The situation

Located 214km north-west of Melbourne in Victoria, the Wedderburn Conservation Management Network (WCMN) is working hard to increase the awareness of the endangered species, the malleefowl.

Across its range, the malleefowl is considered to be threatened. Predation from the introduced red fox is a factor, but the critical issues are changed fire regimes and the ongoing destruction and fragmentation of habitat. Its conservation status has varied over time, and also varies from state to state within Australia.

There are four known breeding pairs in the Wedderburn region, and they are the focus of the WCMN who are striving to protect and restore the habitat of this endangered species. Unfortunately, two of the breeding pairs of malleefowls have developed the dangerous habit of meandering across roads in the Wedderburn area.

The response

Thanks to a small grant of $496 from FRRR, and with the assistance of the Loddon Shire Council, the WCMN has now erected additional signage to make motorists aware that these birds are active in the area, and likely to be crossing the road. With a silhouette of a malleefowl and the words ‘endangered species’ emblazoned on the signs, it is hoped the signs will encourage motorists to slow down when driving on the roads.

The outcome

Not only is it surviving: recent surveys conducted by the WCMN indicate that the numbers of malleefowl are increasing – a positive result for all concerned.

The erection of the signage will assist in protecting the malleefowl in the Wedderburn area, as well as help to educate the community about their presence and that such an iconic endangered species is still surviving.

Dr Michael Moore - Wedderburn Conservation Management Network (WCMN) Chair

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