Bird protected by farmers

September 15, 2017

The plains-wanderer is Australia's most endangered bird species.

Patho Plains farmers are doing their bit to protect Australia’s most critically endangered bird species, the Plains-wanderer, by helping to preserve their habitat.

Farmers Andrew and Faye Bail, Bill and Sandra McGillivray, and Andy and Judy McGillivray, along with Trust for Nature, have put a covenant on some areas of their farm to preserve the birds’ habitat.

By providing assistance from fencing to soil type, the farmers have utilised sensitive red and red-brown soils for grazing early, before moving stock to heavier grey soils, ultimately protecting the grassland habitat of the Plains-wanderers.

Northern Plains Conservation Management Network president and farmer Faye Bail said the considerations had inspired change on the farm.

‘‘Fencing to soil type has really made a difference to how we run our stock across the property,’’ Mrs Bail said.

‘‘It has allowed us to manage our red soil much more conservatively, protecting the vital habitat for the Plains-wanderer and other threatened species.’’

Researchers have ranked the Plains-wanderer first among Australian birds and fourth in the world in terms of evolutionary distinctness and evolution risk.

There are estimated to be between 250 and 1000 birds left, with 95 per cent of native grasslands that Plains-wanderers formerly occupied lost to the cultivation of crops and pastures, as well as suburban development.

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