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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.

Orange-bellied Parrot in flight

Parrots return to Werribee Open Range Zoo

Twelve Orange-bellied Parrots have arrived safely at Werribee Open Range Zoo after they were given a helping hand to migrate from Tasmania.

The birds were given a thorough examination at Werribee Open Range Zoo, with vets giving the birds a clean bill of health.

11 April 2018
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
  • Each year, Orange-bellied Parrots fly from Tasmania to the mainland and back again.