Qena Malleefowl

Anditi used their advanced LiDAR techniques in a recent project on behalf of Northern Star Resources at Qena, around 120km northeast of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. The project area covered 480ha, an area that would have been enormously time and resource intensive to conduct a traditional manual search.


All seven Class I and four Class II targets, predicted through the LiDAR analysis, proved to be Malleefowl nesting mounds.  

Of the 18 Class III predictions, two were Malleefowl nesting mounds, ten failed nesting mound attempts, five mechanical excavations and one a Boodie (Burrowing Bettong: Bettongia lesueur) warren.

An example of a 'failed' nesting mound attempt

None of the many hundreds of Class IV targets encountered during the intensive search of the VA were nesting mounds.  Of the 42 Class IV targets inspected during the controlled foot traverse of the remaining area within the AE, none were nesting mounds, 15 were scours in flowlines, 13 indeterminate, eight mechanical excavations, four bush mounds, one a Boodie warren and one an upturned tree root hole.  An ancient, failed attempt and a highly degraded, long unused nesting mound were not identified.

Numerous Boodie warrens were located throughout the AE indicating that, these now-mainland extinct animals, were once abundant in this environment. Boodie warrens were often re-colonised by rabbit and goanna and occasionally by Malleefowl. Boodie warrens were built in highly localised micro-habitats with favourable soil conditions – usually associated with calcrete.

No active or recently active nesting mounds were found other than those predicted through the LiDAR analysis.

Field Survey:

A20m spaced walking transects through the 480ha area.  This area was, however, poor Malleefowl habitat so unlikely to find nests there.

Elsewhere the class I, II and III targets were checked and any class IV targets that fell on our 250m wide spaced transects. Nests may have been missed where they didn’t fall on the 250m transects.


The Malleefowl is a unique and important species that plays a crucial role in its ecosystem. However, the survival of these fascinating creatures is increasingly threatened by shrinking habitats caused by human activities such as deforestation and urban development. The Qena case study has shown that in order to safeguard the current and future Malleefowl population, it is imperative to utilise the advanced technology that Anditi has developed. By employing cutting-edge tools like aerial LiDAR and data analytics, conservationists can accurately monitor Malleefowl populations,identify key habitats in need of protection, and implement targeted conservation efforts to ensure the continued existence of this vital species in our ecosystems.

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