pulu keeling national park

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Protecting Parks Australia’s migratory waterbirds

Sooty terns, Ashmore Reef. Image: Department of the Environment and Energy Today in Singapore two of Australia’s important sites for migratory waterbirds, Ashmore Reef Commonwealth Marine Reserve and Pulu Keeling National Park, received global recognition. Both sites, managed by Parks Australia, have been added to the East-Asian Australasian Flyway Partnership network. Launched in November 2006, this voluntary partnership between countries aims to protect migratory waterbirds, their habitat and the livelihoods of all the people who depend on them.

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Buff-banded rails thrive on Horsburgh

A buff-banded rail and five chicks caught on camera on Horsburgh An attempt to repopulate Horsburgh Island with the endangered Cocos buff-banded rails has proved successful, with the birds breeding well and stretching their wings. For many years, these small ground-dwelling birds only survived in Pulu Keeling National Park, on North Keeling atoll in the Cocos Islands. In 2005 a recovery plan recommended an attempt should be made to reintroduce the rail to at least one island in the in the Cocos group.

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Buff banded rail chicks sighted on Horsburgh Island

Transporting the birds in waterproof boxes, off Pulu Keeling to a waiting boat A tagged rail on Horsburgh Island In April 2013, 39 Cocos buff banded rails were transported to a new home on Horsburgh Island (part of the southern atoll of the Cocos Keeling Islands) as part of an ambitious recovery plan. This endangered bird was found only in Pulu Keeling National Park on North Keeling Island, so it was important to establish a second colony to secure their longer term survival.

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Cocos monitors turtles

Chief ranger Ismail Macrae taking a boat load of hawksbill turtles to be weighed and measured We’ve completed sea turtle monitoring on the Cocos Islands, with more than 210 turtles tagged and processed over two weeks. This was well over our target of 120 turtles. Hawksbill and green turtles are caught from the boat and brought onboard to tag, weigh, measure and check gender as part of a national data set.

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Adventures of the Cocos buff-banded rail

The birds are released into their new home A tagged rail sets off to explore Thirty-nine rare birds have been transported to a new home on Horsburgh Island as part of an ambitious recovery plan. The endangered Cocos buff-banded rail is found only in Pulu Keeling National Park – a tiny atoll in the Cocos Islands. We’ve been working with scientists, the local government and community to protect the bird from threats like disease or predators - by establishing a second population on a nearby island.

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A natural wonder

Coral polyps feeding | Christmas Island Former Getaway presenter Sorrel Wilby travelled to Christmas and Cocos in late March to give islanders a sneak preview of her stunning new documentary ― Christmas and Cocos Keeling islands: Our Jewels in the Indian Ocean, which airs this weekend on Channel 9. From black-tipped sharks to the red crab migration and stunning crystal-filled caves, the doco is filled with lush footage of the islands’ unique wildlife and geographical features.

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Calling all stamp collectors!

Colours of Cocos stamps Check out Australia Post’s amazing new issue of stamps based on the colourful marine life of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The Cocos Islands include Pulu Keeling National Park, one of Australia’s smallest national parks. It’s an isolated coral atoll, lying almost 2,000 kilometres northwest of Perth in the Indian Ocean. Local resident Karen Willshaw took the photographs for this series, giving s a close-up view of this marine wonderland.

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A long way from home for a little fur seal

A long way from home...this young sub-Antarctic fur seal was found beached on the Cocos. We recently found a small fur seal beached on Cocos — a first ever and a long way from home! It was not in good condition — skinny, with an eye injury and clearly exhausted. However it moved on with the incoming high tide after its temporary stopover. This young sub-Antarctic fur seal’s closest breeding colonies are on Amsterdam or Gough Islands in the southern Indian Ocean.

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Revegetating parts of Cocos

The Cocos’ makeshift nursery has successfully grown 350 Pisonia trees Revegetating parts of the Cocos with native species is the ambitious aim of our Pulu Keeling team and their local community. Pulu Keeling National Park is the only Cocos island that supports large and original stands of Pisonia forest, the preferred nesting sites of the red-footed booby. In their makeshift nursery, our small team has propagated 350 Pisonia cuttings this year — with the welcome help of Christmas Island’s Alistair Brunette — a fantastic effort!

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Red hermit crabs on the march!

Here’s a great movie shot by Parks Australia’s Michael Nelson while on a field trip to Pulu Keeling National Park. http://vimeo.com/21782164 I just love these little guys! Alasdair, Christmas Island National Park For a transcript, please visit our Vimeo site.

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