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A warm welcome to two new Bush-Stone Curlews

Two new male Bush-Stone Curlews have recently been welcomed to Phillip Island. They are residing at the Koala Conservation Reserve, where the Nature Parks threatened species team begin the new breeding program for this species’ recovery.

After the arrival of two female Bush Stone-curlews to the Koala Conservation Reserve in December 2021, two juvenile male curlews arrived in February 2022 into the newly completed second curlew aviary. One of these new curlews comes from Moonlit Sanctuary (which is the same place of origin as the two females), but the other new male has arrived from Nev and Jan Lubke in NSW. Nev and Jan have been breeding curlews for two decades for various release programs on public and private land and were happy to supply one young male to join our flock. Thanks to the hard work of a dedicated team of volunteers and rangers, the curlews are settling in well to their new home. The aviaries, sponsored by the Penguin Foundation, and completed by the Nature Parks Ground Services Team, also protect threatened flora species that are forming part an ideal woodland habitat for the birds where they can feed on natural prey items including insects, worms and frogs, as well as supplementary food provided by volunteers. Soon, the male and female curlews will be housed together in breeding pairs, where the Nature Parks threatened species team can begin to contribute to the breeding program for this species’ recovery in south-east Australia, as well as giving the local community a unique opportunity to come and see these cryptic birds. We encourage people to come visit the Koala Reserve, meet one of the team, and learn about the curlews’ plight before a potential wild release to Phillip Island (Millowl) where the species once lived.

The Penguin Foundation Board is thrilled to support this work which forms part of our 2021-2022 signature funding program ‘Protecting and enhancing the status of Threatened Species on Phillip Island’ and would like to acknowledge and thank our generous donors for contributing to this important and significant project.

More about Bush Stone-curlews

Bush Stone-curlews stand around 55cm tall and inhabit open forests and grassy woodlands, spending days sheltering on the ground among fallen trees and debris which provide camouflage and safety, and nights travelling up to 3km from their roosting sites to feed primarily on insects, as well as small vertebrates and fruits and seeds.

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