In a first for NSW, 10 plains vagrants have been released back into the wild.
The birds, which were released onto private properties in the Western Riverina near Hay, hatched at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Taronga Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo.
This is part of a plan to increase the population of Plains Wanderers. The birds are considered endangered.
The private lands where the birds were released are part of the Paddocks for Plains-Werders program, where landowners receive support to manage their land cover for livestock production and plains wanderer conservation.
So far, the program has protected over 13,000 hectares of plains vagrant habitat in the Riverina Plains of NSW.
Taronga Conservation Society Australia chief executive Cameron Kerr said plains wanderers are a unique Australian bird with a genetic history stretching back millions of years, which is why it was so important to breed the birds and release them into the wild.
“This first release from NSW is an important milestone in our conservation efforts for this species, and it is so rewarding to see these little birds returned to their wild habitat, where we hope they will thrive,” he said. declared.
NSW Environment Minister James Griffin said it was a monumental step towards reversing the fate of small, ground-dwelling species.
“There are now believed to be less than 1,000 of these birds in the wild due to threats such as loss of grassland habitat, severe drought and fox attacks,” Griffin said.
“But now we’re partnering with private landowners to restore their habitat and protect it so plains wanderers can thrive.”
There are 37 other plains strays in the conservation breeding program at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo and eight at Taronga Zoo in Sydney.