Orange Bellied Parrot - student presentation


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Georgia created this slideshow for a Unit 3 VCE Environmental Science assessment.

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Orange Bellied Parrot - student presentation

  1. 1. Orange-Bellied Parrot VCE Environmental Science SAC 3.2 Unit 3 Area of Study 2: Biodiversity By Georgia Huglin
  2. 2. Orange-Bellied Parrot characteristics • Scientific name: Neophema Chrysogaster • Size: Length 20cm • Weight: 45-50 grams • Colour: Underparts are yellowish, the head and back are green, and the wings are blue and green. Males have a bright blue band on their forehead and an orange patch on their belly. • Diet: Consists of seeds, fruits, flowers and berries, and plants that grow in salty conditions such as saltmarshes. VCE Environmental Science
  3. 3. Other Characteristics and Behaviour • The Parrot is a migratory bird and is found in pairs or small flocks. Breeding season is October to January. It breeds only in Tasmania and spends the winter in coastal Victoria and South Australia. • Females occupy nests soon after returning to the breeding area and nest scrapes are prepared by chewing and scratching rotten wood material within the nest cavity. The same hollow can be used for consecutive years. • During breeding males feed the females at or near the nest site. • Individuals are able to breed after living for one year. They can lay up to 6 eggs at a time. • They generally remain on the ground or in low foliage searching for food. • The Parrot has a distinctive call, described as a sharp chitter-chitter that resembles a buzz-buzz call, when its alarmed. VCE Environmental Science
  4. 4. Characteristics which leave the Parrot exposed to threats • The small size of the Orange-bellied Parrot (20cm long and 45grams) means that competitors are able to steal the species’ food and its habitat. Sparrows like to steal the parrots breeding habitat in Tasmania. However the small structure of the bird also helps it climb trees. • Breeding in Tasmania then spending the winter on mainland Australia means that the Parrot has to migrate over the Bass Strait leaving it exposed to the extreme weather conditions which occur through their flight path. VCE Environmental Science
  5. 5. Habitat • Throughout the year the parrot is found in saltmarshes, coastal dunes, pastures, shrub lands, estuaries, islands and beaches. • In Tasmania holes in eucalypt trees are used for nesting in the breeding season which is from October to January. • During winter, on mainland Australia, Orange-bellied Parrots are found mostly within 3 km of the coast. In Victoria, they mostly occur in sheltered coastal habitats, such as bays, lagoons and estuaries. VCE Environmental Science
  6. 6. Location of its habitats • The orange-bellied parrot is a migratory bird, which breeds only in Tasmania and spends the winter in coastal Victoria and South Australia. It is endemic to South-eastern Australia. Location of the Orange-bellied Parrots VCE Environmental Science
  7. 7. Significance to the ecosystem • All animals and plants play a role in the ecosystem and are all apart of the food chain. The extinction of the Orange-bellied parrot would mean that there wouldn’t be as much competition for sparrows for food which could lead to an increase in the bird. It would also mean the loss of a food source for animals such as cats, foxes and other larger birds. • Dispersal of seeds-Because the Orange-bellied Parrot feeds on food on the ground or low lying shrubs, it spreads seeds away from its parent plant allowing these seeds to grow into its plant, fruit or berry, in different areas. It also supports the dispersal and cycling of nutrients. • The Orange-bellied Parrot also provides a social benefit as it is a beautiful creature to see at Zoos or in the wild. Birdwatchers also enjoy sightings of these parrots. VCE Environmental Science
  8. 8. Threat of extinction • On the brink of extinction, the Orange-bellied parrot has been ranked as one of the world’s rarest and most endangered species. • There is estimated to be around 50 orange-bellied parrots in the wild however there are more in captive breeding programs and in zoos. • There are numerous reasons to the decline in the Orange-bellied parrot. Read some of the threats on the next slide. VCE Environmental Science
  9. 9. Threats The Orange-bellied parrot is threatened by: • Loss, destruction and fragmentation of its winter habitat, eg. destruction of its saltmarsh feeding grounds, by industrial and urban development, agricultural practices and recreation. • Introduced predators, especially foxes and cats. • Competition from introduced seed-eating birds including sparrows, gold finches and green finches which means less food for Orange-bellied Parrots. • Loss of genetic variation and inbreeding because of its small population size. • Disorientation from the brightly lit fishing boats when migrating across the Bass Strait. • The development of wind farms, and increasing level of development proposals throughout most of the Orange-bellied Parrot migratory and winter area. VCE Environmental Science
  10. 10. More threats • Its small, single population, making it extremely sensitive to sudden catastrophes such as disease and storms during migrations across Bass Strait especially since the majority of the population breeds around Melaleuca in Tasmania and the entire population migrate along the coast of Tasmania to coastal Victoria. • Invasive weeds have impacted on the Orange-bellied parrot’s habitat. • The birds are also under pressure at breeding sites in Tasmania. The birds nest in tree hollows that are also favoured by species introduced to Tasmania - such as the European Starling - which steal the nest sites. • Food availability because of rabbits which graze on saltmarshes, beach-dune vegetation and weeds. VCE Environmental Science
  11. 11. Conservation category • The species has a very small population and is on the verge of extinction in the wild. There is only one main location where the Orange-bellied Parrot breeds in Tasmania. It is for these reasons that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUNC) has classified the Orange-bellied Parrot as critically endangered. • The Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (1988) has listed the Orange-bellied Parrot as threatened. Under this Act, an action statement for the recovery and future management of this species has been prepared. VCE Environmental Science
  12. 12. Strategies to reduce threats The Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Team oversees the species recovery program. The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 has in its recovery plan for the species a list of actions which will be implemented. The following strategies have been used or recommended to be used to reduce threats to the parrot: • Captive Breeding Programs • The protection of Orange-bellied parrot’s habitats, especially its breeding grounds in Tasmania. • Mark-recapture program • Population Viability Assessment (PVA) • The placement of artificial nests for the parrots to breed in. Nests which have been placed for Orange-bellied Parrots to breed VCE Environmental Science
  13. 13. Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 Under this act the following strategies were made to save the Orange-bellied parrot from extinction: 1. To monitor the population size, productivity, survival and life history of the Orange- bellied Parrot. Banded birds will be observed throughout the breeding season annually and will be used to estimate the annual breeding population as well as the survival and longevity of the species. Surveys will then be taken for the winter population with the collection of sightings of both banded and unbanded Orange-bellied parrots, with the mark-recapture program used to estimate the population. 2. To identify all sites used by Orange-bellied Parrots and get a better understanding of its migration. A new method of remote sensing to identify saltmarsh communities suitable for Orange-bellied Parrot was developed by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. An Orange-bellied Parrot being banded VCE Environmental Science
  14. 14. Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 3. To increase the carrying capacity of habitat by actively managing sites throughout the species' range. Many of the sites where the Orange-bellied Parrot are under protection which are enforced by the Government and local authorities. They also want to protect, and expand habitat on known feeding sites. 4. To identify, measure and reduce threats, particularly in migratory and winter habitats. A Population Viability Analysis (PVA) will be completed to assess the impacts of threats to the Orange-bellied parrot. 5. To increase the number of breeding sub-populations /groups. The reintroduction of the Orange-bellied Parrot at Birchs Inlet to increase the number of breeding groups. As required, captive-bred birds will be made available for release at Birchs Inlet. 6. To maintain a viable captive population. The genetic diversity of the captive population will be managed. If a decline in the heterozygosis of the wild population is detected, the potential exists for selective release of captive birds to redress this imbalance VCE Environmental Science
  15. 15. Captive Breeding Programs • Orange-bellied Parrots are being bred in captive breeding programs including places such as Taroona Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary and Halls Gap Zoo. • The first major program commenced in 1981 and with refinement, this program has made a valuable contribution to the wild population and is an accepted component of the overall recovery for this species. • The program has a goal of having and sustaining 150 Orange-bellied parrots. This would mean that some of these birds, when ready, would be able to be reintroduced into the wild. VCE Environmental Science
  16. 16. Bibliography • • • • 413b7d413a69/files/orange-bellied-parrot-recovery.pdf • • • Pictures from Creative Commons undernourished VCE Environmental Science