Motorists beware - Meandering malleefowl!
Located 214km north-west of Melbourne, the Wedderburn Conservation Management Network (WCMN) is working hard to increase the awareness of an endangered species, the malleefowl.
The malleefowl is considered to be threatened. Predation from the 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 pairs have developed the dangerous habit of meandering across roads in the Wedderburn area.
Thanks to a small grant - just $496 - 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 that motorists will slow down when driving on the roads.
Dr Michael Moore, WCMN Chair, said “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."
And it appears to be working already - recent surveys conducted by the WCMN indicate that the numbers of malleefowl are increasing – a positive result for all concerned.