Norfolk Island AnimalsIsle of Norfolk Animals
There was also a powerful ACT association, as the members of the Canberra Organithological Group were in contact with the Norfolk Islanders and supported the work. In 1978 a group of Canberrans carried out a poll in Norfolk, which the present chairman of the group, Neil Hermes, described as "a forerunner for us because he knew that there was a bird problem".
As a Norfolk Island curator for three years in the early 1980s, he joined forces with the Lions club and took the first captive birds when "it seemed they were fundamentally condemned to failure". At that time there were probably only 30 remaining psittacines threatened by the threefold menace of wildcat, rat and purple rosella.
By the time they finally produced chickens, they had the three whammies on the floor to get them. "Since those perilous times, 80 rodently safe nestings have been established throughout the island and the chickens distributed evenly among the adults to increase their chances of surviving. Meanwhile, curators traveled across the waters to turn the sparse Phillip Island, afflicted by pigs, goats and rabbits, into a wild, verdant Shrine.
At the beginning of the year, the preconditions were given to found a new breeding ground for colonies of evergreen macaws on Phillip Island. However, Norfolk Island National Park Director Craig Doolan said the 30 young bird transfers must take place within three months to ensure the colony's survival. "Those young fowls are willing to abandon the shelter, they are almost old enough to take care of themselves, but young enough not to go back to Norfolk Island," he said.
In 2015, the Canberra Ornithologists Group came back to visit us for a further study of the species and an investigation of Phillip Island. This was a distressed period when the number of seabirds was small and the Lions Club on Norfolk Island took the tab.