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Student wanted: Powerful Owl project - Masters or Honours


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Knights in Shining Fur: The Fight to Save Australia's Littlest Penguins

Most dogs harass nesting birds. But maremma dogs helped revive a penguin colony off of Australia's coast.

Read the story at the Audubon Society website.

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Beyond black and white: The secret life of Australia's marvellous magpies

Australians may think they know everything there is to know about the magpie, but there's a lot hidden under the surface: from the intricacies of their mating habits to why their numbers are in decline. Ann Jones investigates.

Read or listen on the ABC's Off Track website.

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Cotton wool could save endangered Australian bird

Cotton wool could be the missing ingredient in the fight to save one of Australia's most endangered animals.

A new study has found tiny fly larvae are killing the forty-spotted pardalote, and it's hoped the cotton can be used to prevent the small bird disappearing completely.

From Hobart, Richard Baines reports.

Read or listen to the full story on ABC Radio's AM Program website.

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Gould's petrels back from the brink

The discovery of breeding pairs of Gould’s petrels on Montague Island signifies the success of two conservation projects separated by hundreds of kilometres.

RARELY DOES THE person who helps to list a species as endangered get to witness that population begin to recover and then see it removed from the list, all within 20 years. Yet this is exactly what conservation scientist Nicholas Carlile and his colleagues achieved with the Gould's petrel.

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Night parrot capture and tagging hailed as 'holy grail' moment for bird lovers

The elusive night parrot, a species thought to be extinct for about 100 years, has finally been captured and tagged by scientists as part of a pioneering project to safeguard the remaining ground-dwelling birds.

Following an 18-month search for a night parrot, ornithologist Steve Murphy netted one of the birds on 4 April. Feather samples were taken from the bird, and a small tracker, with a battery that lasted for 21 days, was placed on its leg to gain greater insight into the habits of the mysterious creature.

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Australia's only cassowary rehabilitation centre to close

A north Queensland vet says he could be forced to euthanise injured and orphaned cassowaries after the closure of the only rehabilitation centre for the endangered species.

The Department of Heritage Protection has announced the Garners Beach Cassowary Rehabilitation Centre in Mission Beach would close once three birds now in care were ready to be released.

Dr Graham Lauridsen, who is involved in the program, says he'll have nowhere to take birds that have been injured or orphaned by cars.

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State of Australia's Birds report released: common birds facing declines

BirdLife Australia has today released the 2015 State of Australia’s Birds Headline Report that shows a number of Australia’s best-loved birds species are declining in some regions. 

Launched today at Melbourne Museum by Environment Minister the Hon Greg Hunt MP, this report is part of Australia’s most comprehensive series tracking bird populations and health.

“Birds tell us a lot about our natural world,” said Paul Sullivan, CEO of BirdLife Australia.

“The Australian Bird Index is a nationwide health-check of Australia’ s birds and their environments. 

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Current strategies not doing enough to protect our threatened species


Governments across Australia are being urged to do more to protect endangered species, amid warnings land clearing and mining are threatening key habitats.

The criticism from conservationists comes as the Federal Government prepares to release a new Threatened Species Strategy.

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Discovering a suburban ecological treasure

A Tighes Hill resident is on a mission to educate Novocastrians about an environmental 'treasure' in his suburb.

In the suburbs of Newcastle, heavy traffic, bustling businesses and rows of buildings are commonplace. But in the heart of the suburb of Tighes Hill is a vacant block of land that is much more than meets the eye.

To some, they may see a patch of Earth with overgrown shrubs and sludgy puddles. But for resident Tom Clark, he sees much more: an environmental wonderland that should be celebrated.

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Bird watching in Queensland

How much bird life is there in your local area?

Are you an avid bird watcher or have you always wondered about the different species in your backyard?

What impact do bird seeds have on a bird's natural diet?

Kelly Higgins-Devine explores Queensland's bird life with guests: Richard Noske, President of Birds Queensland, Professor Darryl Jones from Griffith University's Environmental Futures Centre and Lloyd Nielsen, author of Birding Australia.

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Orange-bellied Parrots on the Project

Check out a clip about the current plight of the Orange-belled Parrot that featured on the Project on the 16th of June. There are cameos from a couple of BirdLife Australia people.


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Don’t give up on orange-bellied parrots yet, there’s still hope

You might have concluded that Australia’s critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot is heading the way of the dodo, after recent media reports revealed an outbreak of Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease.

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Birds cry wolf to scare predators

One of Australia's smallest birds has found a cunning way to protect its nest from predators by crying wolf, or rather hawk, and mimicking the warning calls of other birds.

Researchers from ANU Research School of Biology found that the tiny brown thornbill mimics the hawk warning call of a variety of birds to scare off predators threatening its nest, such as the larger pied currawong.

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Birds in Schools internship available

Birds in Backyards is looking for a passionate environmental educator to join our team for between 3 and 6 months to work as an intern on our Birds in Schools project. A full position description is available for download on the right.

Applications close 19th June 2015.



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Parramatta River catchment study reveals surprising biodiversity hotspots

It may be counterintuitive, but the sprawling necropolis Rookwood Cemetery is among the most thriving and exciting habitats for native animals in the Parramatta River stretch.

"The cemetery is a biodiversity hot spot," said Ian Wright, a environmental science lecturer at the University of Western Sydney. "We don't disturb it much and we've got endangered ecological species that just love it, just hanging in there in little pockets.

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Rescuing the Regent Honeyeater

They were once seen in flocks of thousands. Now no more than 500 cover an area from central Queensland to southern Victoria. The Regent Honeyeater is one step away from extinction. Matthew Crawford joins a team in NE Victoria releasing birds following a successful captive breeding program at Taronga Zoo in Sydney.

Listen to this story on the ABC's Science Show.

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Ban balloons to save birds, say scientists

Releasing balloons en masse into the sky to mark funerals and other ceremonies is killing birds, say scientists who have called for the practice to be banned.

"Balloons are a huge threat, not only to birds, but turtles and other marine life," said Fiona Maxwell, campaigner with the Australian Marine Conservation Society.

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Bird illustrator William Cooper dies at home in far north Queensland

Renowned wildlife illustrator William T. Cooper was once described by Sir David Attenborough as the best ornithological illustrator alive.

The artist, known to his friends as Bill, was even the subject of one of Sir David's films, Portrait Painter to the Birds.

Mr Cooper, 81, died at his home at Malanda, south-west of Cairns, in far north Queensland on Sunday afternoon.

Read the full story at the ABC News website.

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Call for volunteers as science takes the fight to invading myna birds

That ability to conquer natural bird populations could be increasing rapidly thanks to genes passed down through generations via natural selection.

Australian Museum principal research scientists Dr Richard Major explained yesterday that common mynas (often referred to as Indian mynas) arrived in Australia in the mid-1800s, but only really started to thrive from about 1975.

Common myna communities have since spread up and down the east coast of Australia, with their growth showing no sign of slowing.

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Dozens of birds suffocate on sticky gel at Coast home

DOZENS of tiny birds met a sad death when a careless Peregian homeowner poured a sticky gel around their property in an effort to deter larger birds from roosting.  

Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital has urged people to consider native wildlife when implementing potentially harmful pest control methods around their homes following a devastating result for a flight of swallows last week.

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Regent Honeyeater breeding program boosts population of endangered bird

The wild population of Regent Honeyeaters will swell by 20% this week when Taronga Zoo releases 77 of the critically endangered birds produced through its breeding program.

Distinctive for its embroidered yellow plumage, the honeyeater is considered a “flagship” species: the most marketable of a group of endangered animals that share a habitat.

The zoo hopes that attracting funding and attention to the honeyeater will also benefit animals such as swift parrots, squirrel gliders and orange-bellied parrots.

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Canberra's playful cockatoos and cheeky corellas ruffle a few feathers

With easy pickings of fruit, berries, nuts, bulbs and seed in Canberra, cockatoos and corellas have plenty of time left to play, a hallmark of their intelligence, according to avian experts.

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Swift parrot rapidly winging towards extinction

The swift parrot, Australia's fastest nectar-eater, is suffering such a catastrophic population decline that conservationist biologists are pushing for the brightly-coloured bird to be urgently listed as critically endangered.

The parrot lives much of the year in Victoria and New South Wales where it feasts on the nectar of flowering gums. But when it migrates to Tasmania to breed, it comes under attack from predatory sugar gliders, research shows.

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Scrunchies saving wildlife from being killed by cats: study

A fashion relic of the late eighties and nineties, the humble scrunchie has found a new lease on life preventing the slaughter of wildlife by domestic cats.

In a new study, West Australian researchers found putting a scrunchie-like collar on cats reduced the amount of native wildlife killed by more than half.

Murdoch University PhD student Catherine Hall spearheaded the research which observed the behaviour of 114 cats for two years.


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