mallee fowl pair


Fast Facts

Name: Malleefowl or ‘Lowan’ (an aboriginal name derived from a call which the bird makes when in danger)

Scientific Name: Leipoa Ocellata

Family: Megapode (which literally means ‘great-footed’) 22 species of mound-building birds inhabiting south-east Asia and Australia.

Size: Total length of 60cm, weighing 2 – 2.5kg.

Unique Breeding Strategy: Builds a large incubator mound which utilizes fermentation of leaf litter as well as solar radiation.

Number of Eggs per season: Usually 15-20, upto 35 recorded. None in drought conditions.

Average Mound Temperature: 32 Celsius

Habitat: Mallee (Eucalyptus spp.) and other arid woodland vegetation, often with a thick understory of Broombush (Melaleuca Uncinata).

Distribution: Mallee areas of western NSW, north-west Victoria (as far South as the Little Desert region), southern SA and WA.

Status: Endangered Species. Locally extinct in many areas, with surviving populations fragmented and vulnerable.

Reason for decline: Clearing, burning and grazing of the mallee regions along with predation by introduced animals, such as foxes and feral cats.


Conservation projects initiated by Little Desert Nature Lodge:

  • Preservation of the Malleefowl Sanctuary a 295 acre covenant-protected reserve with 3 active breeding pairs.
  • Captive breeding program at the Malleefowl Aviary where chicks raised can be released back into the wild.
  • Lowan Habitat Enrichment Program, the re-vegetation of areas to provide suitable breeding and feeding habitat for Malleefowl.