Hope for par­rots’ re­turn

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - ANNE MATHER

SO far three or­ange-bel­lied par­rots have made the longdis­tance flight from Vic­to­ria to Tas­ma­nia as part of the species’ an­nual spring mi­gra­tion.

Wildlife au­thor­i­ties are hop­ing for 20 to re­turn to their nest­ing sites around Me­laleuca on Tas­ma­nia’s West Coast.

Or­ange-bel­lied par­rots are crit­i­cally en­dan­gered, with an­nual counts show­ing the mi­gra­tory par­rots re­main per­ilously close to ex­tinc­tion within three to five years.

Last year only 19 wild or­ange-bel­lied par­rots re­turned to Tas­ma­nia from Vic­to­ria for their breed­ing sea­son, and only three of the group were fe­males.

When the wild pop­u­la­tion does re­turn, it will be fur­ther sup­ple­mented by 36 birds from the in­sur­ance pop­u­la­tion.

The cap­tive-bred in­sur­ance pop­u­la­tion is spread over Tas­ma­nia and Vic­to­ria, and num­bers up to 340 birds.

The cap­tive birds will be re­leased to breed with the re­turn­ing wild pop­u­la­tion, and the Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries, Parks, Wa­ter and En­vi­ron­ment has been work­ing on a sec­ond cap­tive bird re­lease site at New Har­bour, near Me­laleuca.

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