Australian Bustard (Australian Natural History)

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Ardeotis australis ## 1 & 2 — The Australian Bustard – Plumwood Mountain

A native bird nearly shot out of existence by the early settlers has been spotted in Victoria's north-west, giving hope that massive regeneration works along the Murray River are enticing the species back to the state. Known by the Indigenous Australians as the 'bush turkey', the Australian bustard is one of the country's largest birds, and can stand more than a metre tall with a wingspan more than double that. It has been described as having a 'snooty' appearance because it walks sedately, holding its head and neck high.

Australian Bustard - Bird watching in Australia with Ej-Birdwatching

While it is still common in the arid reaches of Australia's north, in Victoria it has all but disappeared. But that could be about to change, after four of the birds were sighted at Neds Corner Station, near Mildura, a 35,hectare conservation park purchased by not-for-profit group Trust for Nature Victoria in what remains the largest private conservation acquisition in the state's history.

Bird Life Australia editor Sean Dooley said the station showed how the environment could recover if given the chance. Land clearing has taken place in Victorian since the s, and Trust for Nature Victoria's TFN statewide operations manager, Anna Foley, said the State's wildlife has been particularly hard hit.

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She said two thirds of Victoria's native habitat has disappeared, with 80 per cent of the biodiversity on private land lost forever. But Ms Foley said TFN works with landholders, local groups and the community as well the Victorian government to try to protect important tracts of land. But Ms Foley said with the donation of land not as common as it was during the s and '80s, the organisation has to be strategic about exactly what land it acquires.

But she said Neds Corner had shown what can be done with the right resources and the right people on the ground. Topics: environmental-health , endangered-and-protected-species , murray-darling-basin , birds , mildura , cullulleraine , buronga , meringur , werrimull More stories from Victoria.

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Photo: The Australian bustard has all but disappeared from Victoria.

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Supplied: Greg Norman. Related Story: The Australian birds and mammals 'more likely than not' to become extinct. Photo: White paper daisies now litter an area once full of dry, barren sandhills at Neds Corner. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Observer of light, you know cycles of bust and boom as grasshopper plague; a twig-like season of woody legs and nutty interior before the dust eddies of drought. Tracker of rain, of fire, we find you walking scorched inky floors of dirt, shucking new shoots and venturesome lizards at the restaurant of the bold, remembering days when you too were in the pot.

You know how to unshackle that uptight cool.

You head out to the road, inhale the emptiness. Curious to see the oncoming traffic.

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