- CRITICALLY ENDANGERED with a wild population of less than 50 and a captive population of some 400. Threats include habitat changes throughout its distribution; predation by a range of predators; possibly genetic problems due to low population
- Orange-bellied parrots are seen almost exclusively in coastal and sub-coastal areas, preferring peninsulas and islands. Saltmarshes, littoral (shore) heathlands and low scrublands are preferred habitats as well as grassy areas, which can include golf courses. They breed in forests on the west coast of Tasmania dominated by Smithton Peppermints, Eucalyptus nitida, but tend to avoid extensive tracts of temperate rainforest.
Our partner, Moonlit Sanctuary, has constructed a breeding facility capable of holding up to 20 pairs of birds with the support of Zoos Victoria and the Aviculture Society of Australia. Since 2014, we have bred over 140 birds of which more than 40 have been released into the wild.
In addition, Moonlit Sanctuary has a “ranching” aviary capable of holding up to 40 wild birds. Many orange-bellied parrots are lost over the winter migration period so we hold genetically valuable wild birds over this period in a facility where they experience wild climatic conditions and a natural diet. They are then released back into the wild in the breeding grounds the following spring.