The baby night parrot. Image Credit: Nicholas Leseberg/Bush Heritage

Critically endangered night parrot fledgling photographed on Queensland reserve

  • BY AG Staff |
  • February 08, 2018

A photograph of the critically endangered night parrot— rarely glimpsed by humans due to their nocturnal nature and small numbers— has been captured in Queensland.

SCIENTISTS HAVE captured an image of a young night parrot on the Pullen Pullen Reserve in Western Queensland. 

Nicholas Leseberg, A PhD student at the University of Queensland captured the image while conducting research on the critically endangered parrot.

This new evidence comes just after a blurry image and a sound recording was made of the bird last October by the Paruku rangers in the Great Sandy Desert, Western Australia. 

“It’s estimated that this night parrot is two or three months old; which indicates a laying date of early September,” said Nicholas.

“This suggests that night parrots are still breeding at least seven months after the last substantial rain, and following a very dry year.

"This reinforces the importance of Pullen Pullen Reserve as critical night parrot habitat, and Bush Heritage’s efforts to manage the reserve for the benefit of this rare and wondrous Australian bird.”

Back in 2016, Nicholas managed to capture an image of the first night parrot fledgling in over a century at the Pullen Pullen Reserve.

From 1912 up until very recently, only a handful of dead night parrot specimens had ever been found and the bird was presumed to be extinct.

In 2013, the night parrot was rediscovered and the first ever photographs and video footage of the elusive species were recorded by ornithologist John Young, who first discovered the Pullen Pullen night parrot population.

Since then, the population has been fiercely protected, and the site of the rediscovery has been converted into protected land dedicated to the conservation of this endangered species.

In 2016, several active nests were found in the Diamantina National Park in central-west Queensland.

Despite this, the night parrot has remained extremely secretive and only a handful of people have ever actually seen a specimen alive.

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