Critically endangered ‘Goldilocks’ bird gifted 13,000 hectares of habitat to stop extinction


Critically endangered ‘Goldilocks’ bird gifted 13,000 hectares of habitat to stop extinction

  • Rare Australian bird known as plains-wanderer given chance to avoid extinction
  • Rural landholders set aside more than 13,000 hectares of land for bird to thrive
  • Believed to be only 500 remaining in the wild, only found in parts of Australia










A critically endangered Australian bird affectionately known as ‘goldilocks’ has been given the chance to thrive in an exclusive habitat thanks to the determined work of rural farmers in NSW.

The plains-wanderer, one of the nation’s rarest birds, attracted its nickname from wildlife experts as it tends to avoid areas lacking vegetation.

But with bleak estimates of only 500 of the ground-dwelling birds remaining in the wild, selfless landholders have set aside roughly 13,000 hectares of habitat stretching from Hay to Jerilderie in regional NSW.

A critically endangered Australian bird affectionately known as 'goldilocks' (pictured) has been given the chance to thrive in an exclusive habitat in regional NSW

A critically endangered Australian bird affectionately known as ‘goldilocks’ (pictured) has been given the chance to thrive in an exclusive habitat in regional NSW

The exclusive habitat allocation is part of the Paddocks for Plains-wanderer project, in partnership with Local Land Services in the Riverine Plains.

David Parker, a threatened species officer with Saving our Species, paid tribute to the selfless actions of the landholders. 

‘We have managed to exceed our initial 10,000-hectare target for the birds which is great,’ he told the ABC. 

‘The project is also proof that farming and conservation can work together closely… ultimately we want to provide a future for the threatened species.’

With virtually all of the plain wanderers’ prime habitat being native grass on private land, the farmers will need to be proactive.

‘In an average year the bird requires 60 per cent bare ground and about 40 per cent grass, with a bit of litter as well,’ Parker added.

The long-standing nature enthusiast was delighted to see farmers working in unison when it comes to protecting ‘goldilocks’ from the likes of foxes and feral cats.

To assist with the project, landholders have been provided with a handful of incentives, notably stock proof fencing, a stock management area and feral pest control.

It is hoped long term the critically endangered species, typically found in NSW’s Riverina region, northern plains in Victoria and some parts of south-east South Australia, will rapidly increase in population numbers over the coming years.

In recent months, eight plains-wanderers bred at Taronga Western Plains Zoo and Taronga Zoo in NSW were released into the wild in Victoria as part of a trial research project.  

With only close to 500 of plains-wanderer birds in the wild, the species is on the verge of extinction

With only close to 500 of plains-wanderer birds in the wild, the species is on the verge of extinction

In recent months, eight plains-wanderers bred at Taronga Western Plains Zoo and Taronga Zoo in NSW were released into the wild in Victoria as part of a trial research project

In recent months, eight plains-wanderers bred at Taronga Western Plains Zoo and Taronga Zoo in NSW were released into the wild in Victoria as part of a trial research project



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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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