Saving the Plains-wanderer
The critically endangered Plains-wanderer is ranked number one in Australia and fourth in the world on a list of 9,993 recognised bird species we could least afford to lose because of its evolutionary distinctiveness.
Endemic to Australia, this beautiful, cryptic quail-like bird is fighting for its life. It is the only representative of the family Pedionomidae and genus Pedionomus.
Trust for Nature is part of Australia’s National Recovery Team for the Plains-wanderer which has established a captive program to save it from extinction. The Team includes partners such as Zoos Victoria, Taronga Zoo and Featherdale Wildlife Park.
We are also securing its grassland habitat in northern Victoria by protecting private land through conservation covenants with the support of farmers — many of whom are members of the Northern Plains Conservation Management Network — and financial support from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program via the North Central Catchment Management Authority.
We hear you
Plains-wanderers make a deep and distinctive ‘oooom’ sound at breeding time. The Department of Environment, Land and Water Planning’s Iconic Species initiative has supported the Trust to work with Zoos Victoria, Museum Victoria, Arthur Rylah Institute, landholders and experts to deploy song meters on grassland properties to record all bird calls.
Software is being developed to filter the recordings and pick up the sounds of the Plains-wanderer to identify its nesting sites. A song meter trial in northern Victoria has had some encouraging results from surveys.
Community extension, grazing, fencing to soil type, boxthorn control, rabbit control and fox control across grasslands in north central Victoria are priority tasks to help prevent the loss of this iconic species.
This video helps you get to know the bird a little better.
Main banner photo courtesy David Baker-Gabb