This legendary creature was thought to have been extinct for the past 100 years — but was recently caught on camera.
A group of bird advocates dedicated seven years to searching for a population of night parrots presumed to be living in Western Australia. The discovery began as a side project between four friends, two of them consultants to Monash University Research Ecology and one of them a warden at the Broome Bird Observatory.
The night parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis) is small, rare bird endemic to the continent of Australia and had thus far only been located in Western Queensland. The greenish creature is mottled with brown, black, and yellow, and lives a predominantly nocturnal, land-based life — taking to the air only in search of water or to escape from predators.
While unsubstantiated claims have suggested the parrot’s presence throughout time, the mysterious animal was finally confirmed among the living in 2013.
The friends recently came across the rare bird in an unidentified location amongst spinifex scrub, their preferred habitat. They had witnessed their unique calls ringing out through the night air and were able to capture a stunning photograph.
The evidence of this previously thought extinct species will put pressure on mining operations that threaten their natural habitats, as there is now evidence of a range beyond Queensland that extends far across inland WA, including northwest New South Wales
“This is irrefutable evidence,” Rohan Clarke, head of Research Ecology, stated to the Guardian. “We know that night parrots do occur in Western Australia now. Mining companies, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Parks and Water … they will have to place a lot more import into reported sightings now or in the future when they are making an assessment around potential developments or habitat destruction in the area.”