Snapped: photographs of Kangaroo Island's special birds wanted

Bassian Thrush at Breakneck River. Photo: BirdLife Australia
Bassian Thrush at Breakneck River. Photo: BirdLife Australia

Kangaroo Island is home to some pretty special birds, some of which can be found nowhere else in Australia, and it's these birds that BirdLife Australia is keen to see photos of.

BirdLife Australia is producing an identification booklet for Kangaroo Island's bush-birds, to support the rollout of Birdata shared survey sites as part of their Bushfire Recovery project.

BirdLife project officer Caroline Paterson is asking the KI community to share their best images of the Island's 17 endemic sub-species for use in the guide's introductory pages and back cover.

"With so many keen photographers on Kangaroo Island, there are sure to be some impressive photos of these birds around," Caroline said.

"We're excited to see what's out there and include local images with credit to the photographer of course! Kangaroo Island's endemic subspecies split from their mainland counterparts for almost 10,000 years that the Island has been isolated from the mainland, and while they look similar, there are slight differences in their plumage, size, features and even their calls."

Purple-gaped Honeyeater. Photo: BirdLife Australia

Purple-gaped Honeyeater. Photo: BirdLife Australia

A Beautiful Firetail at Cape Borda. Photo: BirdLife Australia

A Beautiful Firetail at Cape Borda. Photo: BirdLife Australia

The sub-species that are only found on Kangaroo Island and have adapted to our unique environment are:

  • Crimson Rosella
  • Boobook Owl
  • Superb Fairy-wren
  • KI Southern Emu-wren
  • White-browed Scrub-wren
  • Shy Heath-wren
  • Striated Thornbill
  • Brown Thornbill
  • White-eared Honeyeater
  • Purple-gaped Honeyeater
  • Little Wattlebird
  • Red Wattlebird
  • New Holland Honeyeater
  • Brown-headed Honeyeater
  • KI Western Whipbird
  • KI Glossy Black-Cockatoo
  • Grey Currawong

Other species of concern are the Western Bassian Thrush, Beautiful Firetail and Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo because Kangaroo Island was a stronghold for these species before the fires, so determining their current status is critical.

Kangaroo Island is a Key Biodiversity Area, making it a place of global significance for birds and other wildlife, some of which are found nowhere else.

At least three of its subspecies had more than half of their habitat burned last summer - and now, conserving the remaining populations of KI Glossy Black-Cockatoo, KI Western Whipbird and KI Southern Emu-wren is a national priority.

Local photos will be included at the beginning of the ID booklet, in a section about the Birdlife Australia Bushfire Recovery Project and our local sub-species.

"Our aim is to help raise awareness of the importance of protecting these fire-affected birds and engage the community in important data collection to monitor our bird populations well into the future," Caroline said.

High-quality images can be sent individually to: caroline.paterson@birdlife.org.au

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