Joint media release: Nation's gift from Western Australia to mark King's Coronation

03 May 2023

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water
The Hon Reece Whitby MLA, Western Australia Minister for the Environment and Climate Action

•    Commonwealth contribution to support WA’s rarest bird in honour of King
•    Gift for His Majesty King Charles III who has long championed conservation
•    Translocation success supports the survival of Western Ground Parrots
•    Five parrots relocated bringing total to 19 over the three-year program


The McGowan Government has welcomed the Commonwealth’s contribution to a Western Australian charity in honour of the King’s Coronation.


Friends of the Western Ground Parrot will receive $10,000 to support the conservation of the State’s rarest bird to mark the historic event.


It’s estimated there are less than 150 western ground parrots remaining. The critically endangered species is now only found at Cape Arid National Park, east of Esperance. Feral cats, foxes and bushfires have reduced the population.


Friends of the Western Ground Parrot raise funds for recovery and awareness projects, including monitoring and translocations in a bid to establish and expand a new wild population. 


The royal announcement comes after a team of Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) staff and volunteers successfully relocated a third group of the birds.


Five Western Ground Parrots were translocated to a remote area east of Albany last month bringing the total to 19 over the three-year project.


Mist nets were set up over a distance of 10 kilometres at Cape Arid over three weeks, despite challenging weather conditions. Each parrot was fitted with a radio transmitter for tracking and then released.


The translocation project is a partnership between the Western Australian and Australian Governments. It is jointly funded by DBCA, the National Landcare Program, Friends of the Western Ground Parrot and BirdLife Australia. DBCA continues to manage threats to the wild and translocated populations.


Quotes attributable to Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek:

“This truly is a gift fit for a King. His Majesty King Charles III is a proud environmentalist and it’s fantastic to support a charity dedicated to safeguarding this rare parrot.


“Our Government has listed the Western Ground Parrot as one of 110 species prioritised for recovery. This contribution and ground-breaking translocation project will go a long way to ensuring its protection.


“I’d like to thank the researchers and dedicated volunteers involved in supporting the survival of Western Australia’s rarest bird.”


Quotes attributable to WA Environment Minister Reece Whitby:

“His Majesty King Charles III has visited Australia 15 times including several visits here in Western Australia. I’m proud our State’s rare jewel has become the monarch’s crowning gift.


“It’s terrific to see these volunteers and their important work to protect this iconic species being recognised on a global scale.


“We are hopeful each translocation can help the numbers of Western Ground Parrots go from strength to strength.”


Quotes attributable to Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens:

"It's heartening to see Friends of the Western Ground Parrot rewarded on such a momentous occasion.


“I want to congratulate our community groups and government agencies for working together to give this special native species a fighting chance.


“Protecting the Western Ground Parrot is crucial to preserving our State’s unique biodiversity.”