The Latin name for Orange Bellied Parrot is Neophema chrysogaster. Their main body is green and they have a distinctive orange belly. Their weight is approximately 45 grams (1.6 oz) and their size is slightly larger than Budgerigars.
The Orange Bellied Parrot is one the world’s most endangered species. These Australian parrots are one of the only three species that migrates during the summer and winter. They breed in Tasmania’s remote south-west wilderness. They make a long journey back to Victoria and South Australia to spend their winters.
Unfortunately, due to a fatal disease their species is threatened with global extinction.
MPNEWS says “The disease, called bird AIDS by some researchers, causes beaks and feathers to become malformed. Birds end up with shortened, stubby feathers so can’t fly, and malformed beaks so they can’t eat properly.”
Moonlit Sanctuary play vital role is pretesting the extinction of the Orange Bellied Parrot. According to the data there are less than 70 orange bellied parrots in the wild.
“With so few in the wild, we are lucky to have 10 in our breeding program and an additional seven on display in our public aviary,” Lisa Tuthill (senior keeper at the sanctuary) said.
As stated by Herald Sun, the extinction is caused by a disease as well as changes in the environment, which includes loss of habitat and wind farms interfering with their migratory paths.
“Threatened Species Commissioner, Gregory Andrews said the captive breeding program at the sanctuary was critical to the survival of the species.”
The director of this sanctuary, Michael Johnson said that he wanted to improve the breeding program with government help. He also said that they hope to provide aviaries for up to 50 birds, from which some could be released yearly to breed in Tasmania.