Malleefowl Jill Lochman - Australia's National Park - FNPW Image Courtesy of Jill Lochman

Malleefowl Conservation

  • YEAR: 2018
  • STATE: National
  • FOCUS AREAS: Saving Species/SDG 15: Life on Land

The National Malleefowl Recovery Plan was implemented to secure existing Malleefowl populations across the states where they live and downgrade their status from Vulnerable to Conservation Dependent. Malleefowl are considered threatened in all remaining areas of their range. There are populations in NSW, WA, VIC and SA.

FNPW has provided grant funding to ensure the Recovery Plan continues to maintain the required level of volunteers who are dedicated to monitoring sites and gathering data crucial to ensuring the conservation of Malleefowl habitat.

FNPW support

This project was funded through generous donations from FNPW supporters across Australia and beyond.

Project overview

Malleefowl are considered threatened in all remaining areas of their range across southern Australia and are listed nationally as Vulnerable under the EPBC Act 1999. There is a current National Malleefowl Recovery Plan, within which the primary objectives are to secure existing populations across the species’ range and achieve down-listing of Malleefowl from Vulnerable to Conservation Dependent within 20 years.

A National Malleefowl Recovery Team (NMRT) currently operates with representatives in each state where Malleefowl occur (NSW, VIC, SA, WA and the ACT).  A key role of the Recovery Team is to support the implementation of objectives within the Recovery Plan.

The Recovery Team also plays a coordinating role through centralised reporting and resolution of a national approach to broad-scale conservation issues, and assists in the facilitation of current Malleefowl conservation projects. Despite having a national recovery team however, and without the National Coordinator position, there would be no single, coordinated approach to Malleefowl conservation across the country and the NMRT does not have the capacity to undertake such a role. The Team is therefore seeking financial support toward costs of the National Malleefowl Recovery Coordinator.

In the long term this position will play an important role in ensuring that land managers (eg Parks Rangers) know what actions they need to take to ensure Malleefowl populations the best chance of survival. We hope this will achieve the overall aim to implement the National Malleefowl Recovery Plan and Actions to achieve the downgrading of the species from vulnerable to conservation dependent.

In the shorter term this means running the Adaptive Management experiments and ensuring we have enough volunteer monitors to take the measurements. This in turn requires a lot of community engagement and training across the country. The short term goal is to ensure that training occurs and that Adaptive Management project relationships are maintained.


FNPW supports projects across Australia. In the spirit of reconciliation we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.


The project is ongoing.

This project was funded by FNPW in 2018.

Malleefowl Jill Lochman - Australia's National Park - FNPW Image Courtesy of Jill Lochman


The National Malleefowl Recovery Group Inc. are the lead organisation for this project.

Further information about our project partner can be found on their website:


Latest news on this project.

Mallefowl live on the ground so are susceptible to predators. About the size of a chicken, they prefer low bush and open woodlands where they feed on seeds, flowers and small invertebrates. They are one of only three bird species in Australia that build nest mounds on the ground, adding and removing soil and leaf litter to maintain the perfect incubation temperature for their eggs. 

Their conservation status across states varies from vulnerable to critically endangered and numbers have been declining for many years. They have been impacted by feral animals, fire and habitat loss from land clearing and grazing.

The funding of a vital ongoing role in the National Malleefowl Recovery Team will help maintain a single, coordinated approach to Malleefowl conservation across the country and facilitate local and broad-scale conservation projects. The National Malleefowl Recovery Coordinator plays a key role, supporting hundreds of dedicated volunteers and centralising data reporting that will provide answers to questions that experts have been debating for decades – including the impact of predators on Malleefowl populations. The Coordinator has successfully brought together over 30 land managers and nearly 3,000,000 ha of property where Malleefowl populations are vulnerable to decline or extinction.

Volunteers receive regular training and are sometimes required to travel to remote areas to monitor mounds, gathering data on breeding trends and tracking predators in the area. Data is entered onto the National Malleefowl Monitoring Database and directly contributes to the Recovery Plan. The Plan provides significant information to government agencies involved in conservation planning , gives a better understanding of Malleefowl populations and their habitat, raises public awareness and measures the impact of introduced species.

This large scale project has already made a real difference to conservation plans to support the survival of the Malleefowl and protect its habitat into the future.

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