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Byron Shire
February 2, 2023

Lyrebirds and frogmouths – are these elusive birds on your property?

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Marbled Frogmouth at Terania Creek. Photo Dave Milledge

Do you think you might have some elusive native birds on your property?

The Saving Our Species Trails for Tails project are currently looking for local properties that might have the Albert’s Lyrebird or the Marbled Frogmouth on their property.

Motion detector cameras and song meters are capturing the movements and calls of Albert’s Lyrebird, a threatened species restricted to the rainforests of northern NSW and south-east Queensland, on nine local properties and is looking for other sites to monitor using new technologies. Often heard and rarely seen, the bird is notorious for mimicking other species making them somewhat hard to find using traditional survey methods.

Their primary call has a unique signature which means we can identify them using spectrograms produced by a song metre,’ says Project Manager, Jane Baldwin.

‘It’s an extremely efficient and effective way of identifying where species are present in the landscape. With a square kilometre range, a song metre saves a lot of foot work and limits stress that methods such as call play back can have on an animal,’ she says.

‘New technologies can make a world of difference. It’s a really great way for landholders to monitor what species are moving through their property day and night, both native and introduced,’ says Jane.

Now that Albert’s Lyrebird breeding season is over, the project is shifting focus to a different but equally elusive bird, the Marbled Frogmouth. Frogmouth’s acquired their name because of the very wide and largely gaped shape of their beak.

‘The Marbled Frogmouth experiences similar threats to the Lyrebird and inhabits similar locations. We know that a large chunk of the remaining population lives in the protected areas of Border Ranges, but we do not know how well the bird is surviving on surrounding private properties.

Funded by the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife and the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program, the 3-year project is locating both species during breeding season in Kyogle, Lismore, Ballina, and Byron shires.

‘By knowing where the birds live, we can work with landholders to protect them from threats such as clearing, fire, weeds and feral animals. It also means we can work together to protect and restore rainforest habitat connectivity with our National Parks allowing species to disperse and continue to breed successfully,’ says Jane.

Do you have Marbled Frogmouth or Albert’s Lyrebird on your property? The team is keen to hear from you. Contact Ashley Warby at Kingfisher Environmental ([email protected]) for more information.

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  1. So glad someone is finally starting to have concerns over our Frogmouths before it’s too late,as it is for so many of our beautiful animals .
    I have breeding Frogmouths on my property but as sad as it is Council has already deemed my property to get bulldozed for housing development (of course).
    I feel so bad that there is nothing i can do for these beautiful animals.
    Would love to evict these developers from there home to see how it feels,just as they are doing to my poor Frogmouth family


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