New bird habi­tat

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

THE Wildlife Habi­tat has spread its wings with the open­ing of its new Sa­van­nah ex­hibit last Thurs­day.

The new habi­tat will be home to over 25 species of small birds, smaller mar­su­pi­als and rep­tiles.

Adding to the al­ready ex­ist­ing im­mer­sion ex­hibits - Rain­for­est, Wet­land and Grass­land habi­tats - the dis­play will show­case some of the re­gion’s most beau­ti­fully coloured species, al­low­ing up­close in­ter­ac­tion as birds fly freely in a nat­u­ral set­ting.

“The main rea­son we in­tro­duced this area was that the smaller birds were pre­vi­ously go­ing largely un­no­ticed and we were also un­able to house some of the smaller birds in the larger aviaries,” CaPTA sales and PR man­ager Ben Wood­ward said.

“The in­tro­duc­tion of this area is very pos­i­tive, es­pe­cially for lo­cals who’ve known the park - this adds some­thing new and ex­cit­ing for ev­ery­body.

“We’ve al­ready in­tro­duced 25 new birds and will grad­u­ally in­tro- duce more once they are set­tled be­fore adding smaller mar­su­pi­als and rep­tiles into the aviary.”

The Wildlife Habi­tat is also of­fer­ing vis­i­tors to the park an ex­tra­or­di­nary treat, the op­por­tu­nity to see a tiny Lumholtz tree kan­ga­roo joey - a rare tree- climb­ing kan­ga­roo found only in the rain­forests of the Wet Trop­ics.

“The lit­tle joey is grow­ing and is out of the pouch now, and very ac­tive, it’s a def­i­nite must-see,” Mr Wood­ward said.

The Habi­tat is the only place in the world to suc­cess­fully breed the en­dan­gered species in cap­tiv­ity.

“Breed­ing is an in­te­gral part of what we do here at the Habi­tat - we are also home to the world’s only breed­ing pair of black-necked storks, known as jabirus.

“We have two hatched chicks at the mo­ment, with more on the way, they are do­ing well and grow­ing rapidly.”

The jabirus Jab­bie and James, have suc­cess­fully raised over 10 off­spring since 2001.

WHOLE NEW WORLD: the new Sa­van­nah Habi­tat and (in­set) the jabiru chicks

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