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Helmeted Honeyeaters hatch their first eggs for the season

27 August 2014

Healesville Sanctuary is celebrating the hatching of its first Helmeted Honeyeater eggs of the season.

“We have 15 breeding pairs here at Healesville Sanctuary and, with only 90 birds left in the wild, these new chicks-to-be will be critical for the survival of this species,” Mr Glen Holland, Director, Healesville Sanctuary said.

The Helmeted Honeyeater is Victoria’s bird emblem and the only bird endemic to Victoria. Most importantly, the Helmeted Honeyeater is critically endangered.

Healesville Sanctuary established its Helmeted Honeyeater Recovery Program 25 years ago and now releases between 10 and 25 captive bred Helmeted Honeyeaters into the wild each year.

Being so small, the wild population of Helmeted Honeyeaters is at risk of being decimated by chance events like bushfires. Drought, lack of regeneration of eucalypts, competition with colonies of Bell Miners, and attacks from raptors and feral animals are additional threats.

“It is so important for us to be playing such an active role in fighting extinction and working hard to save some of the world’s most endangered animals,” Mr Holland said. “These stunning birds would be extinct if it wasn’t for the dedication and expertise of our threatened species staff, Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater and partnering government agencies."

Healesville Sanctuary’s programs aim to restore threatened species to the wild through captive breeding and release coupled with habitat management and restoration.