Not far to the north of Katherine, in the hills around Leliyn/Edith Falls, Jawoyn Rangers, Parks and Wildlife staff and volunteers have been engaged in a fight to save one of Australia's most beautiful birds.
Locals in the Katherine township, especially in the bush around Katherine East, have been know to spy this rare but spectacular bird.
The Yinberrie Hills area holds one of the largest known breeding populations of the Gouldian Finch.
Once a common finch of the Northern Savanna region, it is thought that fewer than 2500 adults are now left in the wild.
These colourful birds use Nitmiluk National Park's sparsely treed slopes during dry season breeding and move around neighbouring lowland areas during the wet.
Studies have shown complex relationships between this little bird and fire within its habitat.
The finch relies on fire to expose grass seed on the ground in the dry, but in the wet it likes to feed in places that were not burnt the previous year as these places will have plenty of seeding grass species.
This need for a patch burned environment means that it can be difficult for the Gouldian finch population to find food in many areas, the survival of our local populations is therefore very important.
Since 1996 surveys of waterholes in the Yinberrie Hills have been carried out to determine the size of our local populations of finches.
Surveys are regularly done to check on the finches in the hills of Nitmiluk National Park, which adds to the data that gives our scientists the understanding they need to carry on their vital work protecting this amazing little bird.
These surveys are carried out over a ten day period and start just before dawn at remote and isolated waterholes.
As birds approach waterholes for their morning drink they are able to be identified and counted without being disturbed.
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