Plains-Wanderer Appeal

A little bird with a BIG problem

The Plains-wanderer are the last of their family. Losing them is likened to losing the genetics of the entire canid family – dogs, wolves, dingos – an evolutionary catastrophe.

Scientists think this unique, small, flightless, ground-dwelling bird has been around for a staggering 60 million years. That’s almost back to the time of the dinosaurs.

Time is not on our side. With 9 in 10 birds gone, we need your urgent donation today to help save them from extinction. Even if you don’t usually give at this time of year, your gift will have an incredible impact.

All donations of $2 or more are fully tax-deductible for Australian residents.

$25
can help our keepers collect more suitable breeding birds from the wild
Your on-going support is extremely helpful for our conservation, breeding & research programs.
$50
can help cover substantial equipment costs such as special built aviaries and CCTV for monitoring behaviour
Your on-going support is extremely helpful for our conservation, breeding & research programs.
$75
can help our breeding program for future birds to be released back in their natural habitat
Your on-going support is extremely helpful for our conservation, breeding & research programs.
$100
can help save the Plains-wanderer from extinction
Your on-going support is extremely helpful for our conservation, breeding & research programs.
Other
Your on-going support is extremely helpful for our conservation, breeding & research programs.

Plains Wanderer DistributionOnce a common sight from Victoria to Queensland, the Plains-wanderer has suffered an astonishing 90% decline in population over the past 20 years. A combination of human farming practices and extreme changes in climate have resulted in less than 1,000 of these birds left in the wild.

In contrast to many bird species, the female Plains-wanderer are larger, more colourful with a distinct black and white collar around their necks and the males are smaller and plainer looking. They compete for the male’s attention and, after laying a clutch of eggs, they leave the males to complete the incubation and raising of the chicks.


Taronga’s vital role in saving the Plains-Wanderer

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is part of the National Recovery Plan for the Plains-wanderer to help save the species from extinction. We have committed the next 20 years to saving the Plains-wanderer from the edge of extinction.Plains Wanderer. Photo by David Parker

This project is part of a National Recovery Plan for the plains-wanderer, aiming to establish a sustainable insurance population that can support the reintroduction of wild populations.

One of the key tasks of Taronga's conservation-breeding program is to develop a thorough understanding of Plains-wanderer breeding, nesting activity and parental care behaviours, adding to the knowledge bank for what is a globally unique species.

Taronga needs to raise $147,000 for crucial research and breeding programs both in the field and in the zoo for the next twelve months. Saving the Plains-wanderer is, without a doubt, one of the most important things that Taronga has ever set out to do. And that’s why your support is so important.

Plains-wanderer photo credits: David Parker.