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North West Island Feral Fowl

31/10/2018 9:31 PM | James Goodrich (Administrator)

What a fascinating topic for The Pheasant & Waterfowl Society of Australia to explore! So little is known about this particular bird, and its endemic history on North West Island; a coral cay northeast of the Queensland city of Gladstone. 

The wonderful fertilising properties of guano were mined on North West Island for many years, followed by turtle soup canneries in the early 1900's. Two not so favourable points, but it is history nonetheless. 

It is well regarded that the Feral Fowl population came to prominence as a food source for the labourers that worked there. When the manufacturing and industrial workforce abandoned the island, the birds were left to evolve in the wilderness. 

There is a harsh reality to living on an island with no fresh water source, and that is rapid increases and declines in population density. During wet season, when the North West Island Feral Fowl breed, their numbers accelerate into the thousands. Once the dry season appears, cannibalism takes hold and the numbers depreciate. 

This takes place year in year out, with only the strongest birds surviving. 

Around 40 years ago some of these birds made their way over to the mainland to join passionate Aviculturalists and Wildfowl-Keepers in an attempt to test the purity of the 'species'. Reports indicate that the birds breed 'true-to-type', and could be a step forward from the original junglefowl. 

The Pheasant & Waterfowl Society of Australia has now been lucky enough to obtain some of these birds, and in time we hope to release some to Members only. We have also secured some of the purest Red Junglefowl we have ever seen. This is another incredible benefit to being a Member of the PWSA!

Interested in these Birds? Join the PWSA!

If you've owned, bred, or had experience with these birds - get in touch with us! Either through our Facebook Page, or on our Contact Us page! More to come with these incredible birds, so stay tuned!


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