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Endangered Plains Wanderers 'Wander' in to Monarto Safari Park

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: September 7, 2020 10:45 am

Plains Wanderer Monarto Safari Park 1

A plains wanderer at Monarto Safari Park

Photo Credit: Monarto Safari Park

Monarto Safari Park in South Australia has received six plains wanderers from Werribee Open Range Zoo in Victoria. The birds which arrived in March have recently completed their quarantine and are enjoying the purpose-built breeding facility at the Safari Park.

Plains wanderers are critically endangered and are listed in first place on the EDGE (Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered) list – compiled of species with a significant amount of unique evolutionary history that face extinction.

At Monarto Safari Park the birds will become part of a new conservation breeding program. The announcement of their arrival is being made on National Threatened Species Day in Australia.

“National Threatened Species Day is all about raising awareness of the species that are under threat of extinction. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the conservation work that is taking place, such as the Plains Wanderer conservation breeding program,” said Dr Liberty Olds, Zoos SA’s Conservation Manager.

“Without conservation breeding programs like this, the future for the Plains-wanderer would be bleak. At present there are thought to be less than 1,000 adult birds remaining in the wild.”

“The Plains-wanderer is an ancient and uniquely classified species and the only member of the Pedionomidae family. Considering its evolutionary distinctiveness it is definitely one Australian bird species that we can least afford to lose.”

“Zoos SA is passionate about being part of this vital conservation program and helping to save the Plains-wanderer from extinction.”

“The Plains-wanderer conservation breeding program sees Zoos SA working in partnership with Taronga Conservation Society Australia, Zoos Victoria, and Featherdale Wildlife Park, as well as State Government departments in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Funding for the development and construction of the purpose-built facilities at Monarto Wildlife Park was provided through the NSW Governments Saving our Species program.” finished Liberty.

Plains wanderers are a small bird similar in appearance to a quail. They breed year round. Once females lay their eggs they will ‘wander’ off and leave the male to raise the eggs.

They were once common across Australia from South Queensland to South Australia. Their populations have experienced significant declines due to clearing of their grassland habitats, drought and overgrazing.

Learn more about Monarto Safari Park on their website – Monarto Safari Park

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