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Adelaide Zoo Working to Boost Endangered Parrot Populations

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: August 27, 2020 2:45 pm

Orange bellied parrot release Adelaide

An orange bellied parrot

Photo Credit: Adelaide Zoo

Adelaide Zoo is preparing a group of critically endangered parrots for release to the wild and preparing the breeding population for this year’s breeding season.

A group of four orange bellied parrots, three young and one adult will move to Tasmania for the start of the breeding season to boost the wild population. They are currently finishing their quarantine at Adelaide Zoo’s animal health center.

Veterinary nurse Rebecca Probert said, “All the birds are doing well. They have one more round of testing to go before they can hopefully be moved to Tasmania.”

Orange bellied parrot release Adelaide

A keeper checks an orange bellied parrot

Photo Credit: Adelaide Zoo

Last year only 23 breeding birds returned to the only known breeding area at Melaleuca in Tasmania. This was boosted with releases from the captive population along with a successful breeding which saw 100 birds migrate back to the mainland giving hope that this year more birds will return to the nesting site.

The orange bellied parrot is one of the few migratory parrots on Earth. They are listed as critically endangered by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Commonwealth’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999.

Orange bellied parrot release Adelaide

An orange bellied parrot

Photo Credit: Adelaide Zoo

— AD —

Back at Adelaide Zoo keepers are preparing their resident Orange bellied parrots for the upcoming breeding season which will hopefully boost the captive insurance population.

Keepers have created 10 pairs and are crossing their fingers that they will boost the population by creating a number of healthy chicks.

“A species coordinator decides which birds will pair,” says Chad Crittle, Adelaide Zoo’s Senior Keeper of Birds and Herpetofauna, “we then gather the birds, worm them and put them into the breeding facility.”

“The birds usually take interest in each other straight away and we hope to see eggs by early October."

“Birds usually lay between four to five eggs and it takes 21 days for them to hatch."

Orange bellied parrot release Adelaide

A keeper checks an orange bellied parrot

Photo Credit: Adelaide Zoo

“We check the nests daily and part way through incubation we candle the eggs to check if they are fertilized, these are then numbered and recorded."

“Sometimes a bird will have no fertilized eggs, so we will move fertile eggs from a large fertilized clutch to this bird. We do everything we can to help these birds including, where necessary, carefully hand-raising chicks."

“We expect any chicks to start flying in about four to five weeks from hatching which is a wonderful sight to witness."

“Our fingers are crossed that this year is a bumper year – these little birds really do need all the help they can get,” finished Chad.

Learn more about Adelaide Zoo here – Adelaide Zoo

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