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