Parrot back from the brink in WA

By AAP with AG staff 9 November 2012
Reading Time: < 1 Print this page
Muir’s corella and a sun moth have been taken off WA’s endangered species list, as the populations have recovered.

A STOCKY WHITE COCKATOO that came very close to extinction and a controversial moth have been removed from Western Australia’s threatened species list.

WA’s Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) on Thursday said the Muir’s corella had been taken off the list, which had been updated following recommendations by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee.

The species is confined to the extreme southwest of WA, concentrated around the Lake Muir region, and has been threatened by habitat loss, and shooting and poisoning as it is considered to be a crop pest.

Population numbers severely declined in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and had at one stage declined to about 100 birds.

Corella a conservation success story

Its recovery was a conservation success story, DEC’s Gordon Wyre said.

“While Muir’s corella can no longer be considered threatened, there remains a need for the department, in co-operation with landholders, to carefully manage the species and its impact on agricultural production across its southwestern distribution,” he said.

“Conservation status reviews have also demonstrated that the Gouldian finch and the graceful sun moth are now adequately conserved in the wild, with the sun moth being found to occur over a wider distribution and wider host plant range on the Swan Coastal Plain.”

WA Premier Colin Barnett has previously told WA Mining Club and Urban Development Institute of Australia functions that the ubiquitous sun moth had stymied more developments than any other species, suggesting the Biodiversity Act needed to be updated.

He joked that it was a particularly unfortunate creature, born blind, with no mouth and obviously no meals over its short life span of up to 10 days.

Overall, the number of threatened fauna species on the DEC list has increased from 233 to 240 species.