Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

The Biology of the Ground Parrot, Pezoporus wallicus, in Queensland. III. Distribution and Abundance

DC McFarland

Wildlife Research 18(2) 199 - 213
Published: 1991


Ground parrots in Queensland were found in closed graminoid-heathlands and sedgelands between Maryborough and Coolum on the mainland, and along the west coast of Fraser I. Parrot distribution, when compared to historical data, shows a decline which is a result of habitat destruction or degradation in the northern and southern limits of the species range. The current population is estimated at 2900 birds, with the majority in the heathlands of Cooloola National Park, Wide Bay Military Reserve and the State Forest and the Great Sandy National Park on Fraser I. Ground parrot density varied between sites because of the interactive effects of vegetation type, heathland area, time since and frequency of fire, microhabitat diversity and proximity to recolonisers. Within sites, parrot numbers changed in the long term with time since fire (influence of temporal changes in vegetation structure and seed availability) peaking at 5-8 years after burning, and in the short term with the seasonal effects of dispersal and breeding. Although predators were present their impact on the main populations was considered minimal. All of these factors are, to some extent, influenced by human activities, e.g. clearing and burning of heathlands.


© CSIRO 1991

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