Our world is changing in so many ways. One of the ways that’s alarming is the rapid endangerment of a number of our exotic birds in the wild. Due to many reasons that do not exclude illegal poaching, habitat changes that include ongoing depletion of environmental essentials, and natural elimination by predatory creature, our beautiful birds in the wild are finding it harder and harder to maintain an exclusive means of survival.
Fortunately, there are many helpful agencies that have formed with the intent of assisting birds of all kinds to survive and, hopefully, jumpstart an expansion of their species by satisfactory mating and hatching of eggs without the aforementioned threats eradicating any hope.
One of those agencies is the Healsville Sanctuary. Located in Australia, this sanctuary is within the Zoos Victoria collective, a zoo that deals only with native Australian creatures. They specialize in breeding animals in the express hopes that they can be returned to the wild and learn to thrive without fear of encroaching dangers, natural or illegal. One of those is the Orange-Bellied Parrot. Long known to be near extinction with approximately fourteen birds in protected wild habitats, it was feared that we may have lost that battle.
Late last year, something miraculous happened at Healeville Sanctuary. After many frustrating attempts to encourage the birds to adapt to a changing habitat, the sanctuary was able to create an encouraging — and hopeful — event. That event was the laying of more than a hundred eggs by the birds and the successful hatching of 42 of them. Using a variety of different measures in diet, and habitat tweaks, the Orange-Bellied Parrot began to successfully hatch their eggs. In December of 2016, the first chick was hatched starting what is now considered to be the most fruitful of breeding seasons since the captivity insurance program was initiated.
Dr. Dejan Stojanovic from the Australian National University has dedicated his services to helping the endangered species adapt and thrive. After hatching, there are certain things to be aware of including the birds’ period of readying for independence. That growing period is fast lasting approximately two months before they are ready. Because of the accumulated data acquired by close studies and experimentation, this most recent group contains 40 chicks within the program.
Sadly, in January, 16 of the adult parrots died as a result of a bacterial outbreak. This is being investigated and hopefully stabilized before it spreads further. The Orange-Bellied Parrot Tasmanian Program (followed here on their Facebook page) details events of the program as they unfurl hereby keeping an interested public in the thick of it all. They inform of all nest boxes and the successful amount of nestlings that are found and nurtured within them.
The Healeville Sanctuary itself is spread out over 74 acres of native Australian landscape, and is home to kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, reptiles, Kookaburras, bats, the orange-bellied parrot, and other native Australian animals. They are a hope to the life of creatures that might otherwise be depleted if no one was there to help. The umbrella zoo is a not-for-profit entity that is dedicated to fighting extinction.
Should you find yourself in Australia, and would like to visit the Healesville Sanctuary, you need only to visit the zoo during pre-set hours, usually the standard 9 A.M to 5 P.M. timeframes. The costs are $12 per person with occasional special pricing in effect. There you can see not only the Parrot exhibits, but all of the Australian creatures that are cared for by the zoo.