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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

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 21 priority threatened native species.

OBP in hand prerelease

Parrots set to boost wild population

Numbers of the Critically Endangered Orange-bellied Parrot will receive a boost this week with 15 female birds set to be released in Melaleuca, Tasmania.

22 October 2017
OBP close up

Parrots flock to Werribee Open Range Zoo

It might have been a shorter migration than they are used to but 25 Orange-bellied Parrots arrived safely at Werribee Open Range Zoo this week after being transferred from Healesville Sanctuary.

1 September 2017
  • Each year, Orange-bellied Parrots fly from Tasmania to the mainland and back again.