CLONCURRY grazier Bob McDonald was on Landline revealing what he knew of the elusive night parrot that had been found on his property of Mt Windsor.
The nocturnal parrot has rarely been seen in the last century and was believed to be extinct.
In 2013 wildlife bird photographer John Young managed to capture several photos and a few seconds of video of the bird, after many years of searching for it.
Scientists were able to capture a bird and use a tracker on it, which eventually led them to Mt Windsor, south of Winton.
“We probably have seen them but not realised what they are,” Mr McDonald said.
He described the parrot as looking like “a budgie that has a bit of a weight problem”.
It was likely to be more widespread across the country than first thought and there had been recent discoveries in places such as the Pilbara, Mr McDonald said.
“They live in big clumps of spinifex to protect themselves from predators and have probably been doing that for millions of years,” Mr McDonald said.
Conservation group Bush Heritage Australia bought a section of a nearby station to set up as the Pullen Pullen Reserve to protect the parrot where it first had been found, Mr McDonald said.
The reserve was 56,000 hectares and approved by the Queensland Government last year.
It was a protective measure the grazier supported.
Mr McDonald said that by creating a reserve it placed restrictions on people entering it and gave the landholder control of the people wandering that area.
Bush Heritage Australia said that the global interest in the bird was “intense” so the exact location had been closely guarded to protect the birds.
Ecologist Dr Steve Murphy said there had been specific objectives guiding the research, which included learning how to find night parrots more easily.
They also tried to understand how the parrot used the landscapes in their habitats.
“The idea is we can go into other places and find other populations," he said.