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Healesville Sanctuary

Orange-bellied Parrot

One of only three migratory parrot species in the world, the Orange-bellied Parrot, Neophema chrysogaster, migrates annually from Tasmania to south-eastern Australia every winter. 

However, Orange-bellied Parrots are critically endangered and at risk of extinction in the next 3-5 years unless urgent action is taken.

Zoos Victoria plays a key role in the recovery of this species by maintaining a genetically viable captive population at Healesville Sanctuary.  The captive population will provide insurance against the extinction of the Orange-bellied Parrot in the wild.

There are estimated to be fewer than 50 Orange-bellied Parrots left in the wild.  The carefully managed population of captive parrots is now spread among ten captive facilities (including Healesville Sanctuary) and numbers over 340 individuals. With a recent outbreak of Beak and Feather disease at Melaleuca in southwest Tasmania– the only place where the parrot breeds – this captive insurance population is critical while plans to combat the disease are developed.

Plans and publications

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 Download a comprehensive overview of what Zoos Victoria is doing to save the Orange-bellied Parrot (419 KB)

DPIW (2006) National Recovery Plan for the Orange-bellied Parrot.  Department of Primary Industries and Water, Hobart.

DSEWPC (2010). Neophema chrysogaster in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra

Orange-bellied Parrot

Fearless Flier for the Extinction Fighters

Found: coastal habitats

He is a serious long-distance flier. Like the old, brave pilots of another age, this little parrot won't shy away from a battle.

Meet all priority native threatened species

Zoos Victoria plans to save this endangered animal.

See all of our priority threatened native species.

Orange-bellied parrots call werribee home youtube vid

Critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrots move into new home

Werribee Open Range Zoo has opened a new, purpose-built, facility to aid the recovery of the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot this morning. It's also the first time in the Zoo’s history, visitors will be able to see this rare species up close, with less than 50 birds left in the wild.

28 June 2016
Peter Hitchener helps us Fight Extinction

Celebrating Zoos Victoria's successes this National Threatened Species Day

This National Threatened Species Day, Zoos Victoria is celebrating another successful breeding season and releases of animals into the wild.

7 September 2015
  • Each year, Orange-bellied Parrots fly from Tasmania to the mainland and back again.