Scientific name: Neophema chrysogaster
The parrots are mostly green with a yellow
undertone. They have a patch of orange
between their legs and their wings are
blue at the ends.
They are, on average 20cm long and
usually weigh around 45g.
They are herbivores. They eat berries,
fruit, seeds, flowers and plants that grow
in salty conditions.
Structural and functional adaptions
They have a distinctive harsh, buzzing
alarm-like call Image:
The orange-bellied parrots breed in
Tasmania late in the year, around
October to December
They migrate to Victoria and South
Australia after breeding season, around
January to April. It is approximately a 2
These birds don’t lay their eggs on
nests they lay them inside hollow
eucalypt trunks and braches.
They lay up to 6 eggs in each clutch.
Studies have shown that out of all the
eggs only 1.7 of these are reared. This
is from natural events.
LOCATION AND HABITAT
The Orange-bellied parrot is endemic to South-eastern Australia.
They live salt marsh habitats in Victoria and South Australia.
CHARACTERISTICS THAT LEAVE IT EXPOSED TO
THREATS AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE
Characteristics that expose it to threats
Low fertility rate and low survival of chicks
The OBP eat seeds from saltmarsh habitats. When
they forage around in these habitats they move the
seeds allowing them to germinate. It is unknown
what the impact would be if these parrots became
extinct but there is a possible chance that saltmarsh
habitats could stop germinating which would effect
The orange-bellied parrot was
upgraded from endangered to
critically endangered in 2007
by the Environment Protection
and Biodiversity Conservation
It is estimated that there are
only around 50 parrots left in
the wild and around 300 in
It is suggested from recent
trends that they will become
extinct in the wild within 5
Fragmentation and degradation of over-wintering
winter- rabbits and stock have damaged their area.
Loss of saltmarsh habitat from fires and clearings
Competition with introduced seed eaters
Predators- foxes and cats
Inbreeding due to small population
Spread of noxious weeds.
FLORA AND FAUNA GUARANTEE ACTION
Intended management action- Victoria
- To conduct surveys on suitable habitats
- Monitor flocks of parrots and record details
-Control weeds and rabbits
-Stop grazing in their areas
- Control feral foxes and cats
- Collect genetic information of parrots from SA, VIC & TAS.
- Let public know of the problem by making brochures and other
forms of media
In 2006 the Australian government, with state governments
and organisations such as Birdlife Australia, put together $3.2
million to protect and expand the parrot’s habitat. They did this
by –working with landholders in winter grounds (SA & VIC)
– Conserving habitats in Tasmania for breeding
–managing and enhancing breeding programs
The Threatened Species Network Community Grants has
donated money to different projects. In 2006 the King Island
Natural Resources Management Group Inc (Tasmania) was
given $30,000 to control feral cats to protect the parrots. In
2009 the Port Fairy Golf Club Inc (Victoria) were given around
$2000 to plant roosting trees for the parrots.
CAPTIVE-BREEDING AND RELEASE PROGRAMS
There are multiple sanctuary's and zoos around the
South eastern part of Australia that hold captive-breeding
and release programs for the Orange-bellied parrots.
Every year around 30 chicks are released into the wild
from these programs
The Adelaide Zoo holds these parrots and breeds them.
They have been involved in
doing so since 2000. From 2000
to 2007, 23 parrots were born in
the zoo. Out of these 9 have
been released into the wild.
Since 1992 around 74 custom-
made nest boxes have been
spread out around Melaleuca,
Tasmania. This is to encourage
breeding and also allows for
monitoring. These boxes have
been quite successful having a
69% output per nest.
I think that Orange-bellied Parrots are extremely likely
to become extinct. This is because they have such a
low fertility rate. If the rate of the OBP keeps getting
lower and lower it will gradually result in inbreeding.
This is not good because the recessive genes will
start being passed down, eventually leading to
deformation. There may be a slight chance of
increasing the birds population because of the
captive- breeding programs and custom- made nests
but in my opinion that’s just not enough to save the
birds. It would be a good idea to cross breed with
other birds from the Neophema genus.