Malleefowl Taxonomy

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Taxonomy and Conservation Status
The Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata), an endemic terrestrial bird in the family Megapodiidae and the only extant species in the genus Leipoa, is recognised as vulnerable in the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and on the IUCN’s Red List (Parsons, Short, and Roberts 2008).

Distribution and Ecology
Historically, the Malleefowl was extensive in each Australian state except Queensland, but in 1965, the species became extinct in Northern Territory and since 1981, reductions in their distribution were documented in other states (Figure 1 and Table 1) (Benshemesh 1999, 2007). Currently, most Malleefowl populations exist in small fragmented areas across Australia comprising about 100 subpopulations (largest subpopulation contains 3,000 adults) and an estimated total population of 100,000 adults (density of 1-2 pairs/km2) (Garnett and Crowley
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An examination of Malleefowl population dynamics is required for recovery actions to be efficient.
Conduct PVA to derive a quantitative comprehension of Malleefowl population viability.
The PVA can determine the management scenarios that would promote the long-term persistence of Malleefowl populations under varying stochastic events such as fox predation (Bode and Brennan 2011). Bode and Brennan (2011) using a PVA (stochastic age-structured) model noted that a remote population of 32 breeding birds may become extinct in a 20-year period, but introducing captive-reared juveniles have shown to reduce their decline (Figure 3).

Objective 6: Evaluate the captive breeding and re-introduction of the Malleefowl.
Re-introduced programs are intended to re-establish a species that has been extirpated and to supplement small wild populations with captive-bred individuals to prevent inbreeding (Benshemesh 1999).
Evaluate the effectiveness of captive breeding and re-introductions of the
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