Malleefowl pageMalleefowl – Leipoa ocellata

The conservation status of the Malleefowl is listed under the Australian Commonwealth’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act status (2012) as Vulnerable. The Malleefowl are present in all mainland states except Queensland, and is recognised as threatened wherever it occurs. In Western Australia it is classified as Fauna That Is Rare Or Is Likely To Become Extinct.

Malleefowl are most renowned for the large mound they build, usually 3-5 meters in diameter and 1 metre high, from sand and soil.  In the centre of the mound they add moist litter to create an incubator for their eggs.  The male Malleefowl monitors the temperature of the mound as the leaf litter decomposes, regulating the temperature for the eggs.  When the chicks hatch they receive no parental care and can run and feed themselves almost immediately and fly within a day.

The indigenous Anangu people of the GVD call Malleefowl ‘Ngananmara’.

The National Recovery Plan for Malleefowl identifies several threats to the Malleefowl across its range.  Many of these threats, such as grazing and fragmentation, are not highly applicable to the Great Victoria Desert region in Western Australia.  

What is the Trust doing?

The Trust, together with the Department of Parks and Wildlife, held a Malleefowl Workshop on the 25 November 2014 which brought together experts from industry, consultants, government agencies and environmental not-for-profits.  At the workshop experts presented their latest research and findings. Discussion groups prioritised threats and knowledge gaps for the Malleefowl in the Great Victoria Desert (GVD).  A Malleefowl Research and Management Plan (RAMP) has been drafted to collate the findings of the workshop and existing information about the species.  The Department of Parks and Wildlife was also commissioned by the Trust to collate a report on Malleefowl records in the Great Victoria Desert, Western Australia.  

The RAMP and the report are currently being used to inform planning for Malleefowl surveys to be undertaken across the GVD in 2017-18 to increase knowledge about this species’ habitat preferences and distribution throughout this arid region.  Gaia Resources are currently working with a range of experts and GVD stakeholders to identify suitable sites for these surveys.  The site survey selection is due for completion by the end of July/early August 2017.

More information about Malleefowl can be found here.


Page updated 14/07/2017