Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ryan Smith, today announced the incredible results of Zoos Victoria’s threatened species breeding program.
Speaking at Healesville Sanctuary, Minister Smith said: ‘this is an amazing achievement by all those involved in the threatened species breeding programs at Zoos Victoria.
‘In the past 12 months, 37 Orange-bellied Parrots were bred right here at Healesville Sanctuary, that is the Sanctuary’s best result in the 19-year life of the program.
‘There were also 14 Helmeted Honeyeaters hatched and due to be released into the wild in October’.
With only 60 honeyeaters estimated to remain in the wild, these birds will form a crucial part of the wild population and be specially trained to avoid predators to improve their chances of survival.
Zoos Victoria also had success with Australia’s only hibernating marsupial, the Mountain Pygmy-possum, with 11 possums born, seven of whom will be released onto Mt Buller this spring. These possums will be released with other Mountain Pygmy-possums previously bred under Zoos Victoria’s threatened species breeding program.
In a boost for the survival of Northern and Southern Corroboree Frogs, Zoos Victoria had their best breeding season ever, with 198 Northern Corroboree eggs hatching into tadpoles and 93 Southern Corroboree eggs hatching. The tadpoles will be raised up to frogs before releasing them into the wild next year.
Zoos Victoria’s Tasmanian Devil breeding program continued to record great results, with nine joeys born as part of the national program to build up a captive insurance population for future release.
Minister Smith congratulated Zoos Victoria on its continued commitment to fight the extinction of local wildlife.
‘Zoos Victoria’s is conducting some fantastic work with our native threatened species and the success they have had reaffirms theirs and the Victorian Governments commitment to fight wildlife extinction.
In the next 6 months, Zoos Victoria will look to continue the success and set up new breeding programs for the Alpine Skink and the Leadbeater’s Possum.