Australians urged to watch and listen for rare night parrot

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(Supplied: Steve Murphy) Mr Andrews said despite often venturing out into arid areas, he is yet to see one of the birds.”That really shows how rare they are, because as the Threatened Species Commissioner, I’m in a very privileged position where I get to see and interact with some of Australia’s rarest animals and plants,” he said.The Commissioner expects populations will continue to recover as government programs crack down on their main predator — the feral cat.”I really encourage Australians to get online, look at the page, learn about the parrot and then when they’re out in the bush; keep an eye out, keep an ear out and you might be lucky enough to spot a night parrot,” Mr Andrews said.’Know your native animals rather than celebrities’Mr Andrews said it was disappointing Australians know more about celebrities than some of the country’s unique wildlife.”I have no problem with Justin Bieber or Kim Kardashian, but it does worry me that more Australians know who they are than know what a bilby, a quokka, a quoll or a night parrot is,” he said.”I would certainly like more Australians to know what a night parrot is than Kim Kardashian, or what a bilby is than Justin Bieber.”Mr Andrews said it was becoming more difficult for people to see native animals in the wild, but he believed there was still hope, because on a recent family holiday, his eight-year-old daughter was lucky enough to see a bilby.”Night parrots share very similar habitats to bilbies, so my hope is that my daughter — and all Aussie kids — will be able to see a night parrot in the wild,” he said. Photo:
The spinifex habitat of the night parrot.

Audio:
(Suplied: Steve Murphy) By Khama Reid

Updated

February 02, 2017 13:34:30

Photo:
The bird is so rare that even the Threatened Species Commissioner has not seen one.
Map:
SA
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Listen to the call of the night parrot

(ABC News)
Australians are being encouraged to keep an eye and an ear out for a desert bird that is so rare, even the Threatened Species Commissioner has spotting one on his bucket list.The night parrot was once assumed to be extinct, but sightings in recent years have stirred up hope the population is recovering.Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews has worked with scientists to launch a night parrot conversation website, to raise awareness of the bird and help people recognise it.”It’s a nocturnal bird, so it’s very cryptic and very few people have seen a night parrot in the wild,” he said.”They’re a very cute and small green parrot, they live on the ground, they’re very hard to find and the best way to find them is through their call.”