Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Radiotracking part 1

Ten young birds and three adults were fitted with transmitters.

Below is an extract from the report on the 1988/89 Project 118: Conservation of the Ground Parrot in Western Australia (see previous two b-log postings), describing the equipment and method.

Each of the photos below is by Allan Burbidge who was the project originator.

Doug Watkins radiotracking

The transmitter is attached

Jim Rolfe radiotracking.  

Monday, June 9, 2014


Field work dates were

24 October to 16 November 1988 (11 Ground Parrots caught.)

6 December to 23 December 1988 (3 birds caught)

19 January to 6 February 1989 (0 birds caught)

The 1988/89 Ground Parrot Project (see also last blog entry) involved capturing Ground Parrots with the intent of radio-tracking them.

Showing the wing moult of one of the captive birds. Photo: Allan Burbidge

An adult bird in the hand. Photo: Kaye Vaux

Beating: one of the capture methods. A line of volunteers from the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers drives birds towards a net. Two birds were caught this way.
Photo: Allan Burbidge

The most successful capture method was with long lines of mist nets which were opened pre-dawn and after sunset. (This method had been successfully used by Richard Jordan to capture Ground Parrots at Barren Grounds in New South Wales.) No birds were caught pre-dawn but 12 were caught post-sunset. Eleven juveniles were caught, and three adults. One of the young birds perished in the mist net.

It was found that the birds readily bounced out of nets with a 1.5" mesh: mesh of a larger size was better.

The captured birds were weighed and measured. For the first time photos were taken of Ground Parrots from Western Australia, photos that would feature in the early publicity about the precarious situation of this endangered bird.