A team of experts are on a mission to save the threatened Eastern Bristlebird from fires near Mallacoota.
The Eastern Bristlebird is an already threatened (and bloody cute) species, with just four populations left in Australia and only one in Victoria. They’re a ground-dwelling bird, meaning they’re not the most mobile and can’t just hide in a tree when fire threatens.
The population around Mallacoota survived the bushfires until now, but with fires still burning hot, the race is on to get them to safety before their habitat is threatened again.
A team of experts have been flown in (irony?) with the mission to capture 20 Eastern Bristlebirds within the Croajingolong National Park and temporarily rehome them to Melbourne Zoo. But don’t stress, they’ll be returned to their natural habitat once it’s safe again. The operation has been executed by DELWP, Parks Victoria and Zoos Victoria.
The crew of experts, hailing from multiple government departments, Monash and Wollongong universities and Currumbin Sanctuary, were flown in by helicopter on Monday and have until tomorrow to complete the mission. Challenge accepted.
As of yesterday, 15 birds had been captured, of which there are at least four pairs. They’ve been safely transported back to Melbourne Zoo.
The rescue of this population is essential for the species’ genetic diversity and continued survival.
This is just one of many operations underway to help preserve threatened species and treat wildlife affected by the ongoing bushfires. The Victorian Government has invested $17.5 million to address the immediate needs of affected wildlife, with medium and long-term planning being rolled out as well.
If you’d like to support the work being done to protect Victoria’s wildlife, donate to Zoos Victoria Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund.