Fortescue research confirms endangered Night Parrot co-existing with mining

Jun 25, 2021

Fortescue research has established one of Australia’s critically endangered birds is co-existing with mining operations in the Pilbara.

The Night Parrot is a small, nocturnal bird, which was presumed to be extinct prior to a reported 2005 sighting on a Fortescue environmental survey associated with approvals work for Cloudbreak iron ore mine.

The bird had not been detected since the initial sighting, despite ongoing monitoring.

Over the past three years Fortescue have been monitoring for the bird’s distinctive call, following successful recording in 2015 of night parrot calls in Western Queensland Analysis has confirmed one definitive recorded call and several possible calls of the bird adjacent to Cloudbreak Mine.

The calls were captured on acoustic recording devices and subsequently confirmed by leading Night Parrot experts, Nick Leseberg, Steve Murphy and Nigel Jackett of Adaptive NRM.

Fortescue’s Group Manager for Environment Adam Meyer said the research findings demonstrated the species was persisting in suitable habitat areas adjacent to Fortescue’s active mining operations.

“At Fortescue we are committed to safeguarding the environments in which we operate. Finding these calls has been an amazing achievement given the Night Parrot was considered to be extinct for many years,” Mr Meyer.

“Our Environment Team will continue to monitor for the Night Parrot near the Fortescue Marsh, as part of our effective environmental management practices and ongoing protection of biodiversity during mining operations.”

The Night Parrot is listed as Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (Cwlth) 1999, and Critically Endangered under the Biodiversity Conservation Act (WA) 2016.