Hope for parrots’ return
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.