Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery
What is an Orange-bellied Parrot?
The Orange-bellied Parrot is a small 'grass parrot' and as its name suggests, has an orange patch on its belly. They migrate between the Australian mainland and Tasmania, spending summer breeding in Tasmania and winter in coastal Victoria and South Australia. Orange-bellied Parrots nest in hollows of eucalypt trees near button grass plains in south-west Tasmania. Sadly, the OBP is one of Australia's most threatened species, with less than 50 parrots thought to exist in the wild today. It is protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) and is listed as Critically Endangered.
Why are they so threatened?
Current threats to the species include:
Habitat loss and modification
Predation by cats and foxes
Spread of noxious weeds
Mortality caused by collisions with structures
Inbreeding due to small population and other genetic factors
What is being done to save the Orange-bellied Parrot?
In 2006, the Australian Government, together with other state governments and organisations like BirdLife Australia, committed $3.2 million to protect and expand OBP habitat by:
Working with landholders in their winter breedings grounds in Victoria and South Australia
Conserving breeding and nesting habitat in Tasmania
Improving important migratory habitat and controlling predators in north-west Tasmania and on King Island
Managing and enhancing the OBP captive breeding program
Read the latest article in our members' magazine on the history of the OBP by Samantha Vine, BirdLife Australia's Conservation Manager