Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park
Orange-bellied Parrot Breeding for Recovery
The Orange-bellied Parrot (OBP) National Recovery Plan calls for a sustainable captive breeding program of 400 birds to insure against extinction and enable their successful release. Moonlit Sanctuary seized the opportunity to become a cornerstone of the Plan.
Based on learnings from a trial block of five aviaries, they designed a 20-aviary complex for up to 40 breeding birds and 100 offspring. In 2016, with support from Zoos Victoria, they opened a new OBP breeding facility.
Results for the first season from 12 pairs was 25 offspring, including their first double-clutch or individual layings, and supplied birds for Tasmanian breeding grounds and at the Werribee Open Range Zoo.
Observers at Werribee commented that the birds went straight to wild food sources rather than supplementary food. The birds successfully flocked with wild birds arriving from Tasmania and, so far, have had a high survival rate. Scientists say the release has exceeded all expectations.
Moonlit Sanctuary has committed to run the program until there is a viable wild population again and the species has been saved from extinction.