This recovery plan outlines the long-term strategy, and short-term objectives and actions, for the recovery of the Orange-bellied Parrot (Neophema chrysogaster). This plan is the fifth recovery plan for the species, and follows on from the previous five-year recovery plan (OBPRT 2006a) and the 18-month emergency Action Plan for the Orange-bellied Parrot (OBPRT 2010). The plan aims to provide continuity for recovery activities after the implementation of the action plan.
The Orange-bellied Parrot is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), and is also listed as a threatened species in each state in which it occurs (New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria).
Orange-bellied Parrots breed in south-west Tasmania in the summer, and migrate to the coast of south-east mainland Australia for the winter. The migration route includes the west coast of Tasmania and King Island.
There are about 50 Orange-bellied Parrots remaining in the wild, and a captive breeding population of around 320 individuals. The species is at risk of extinction in the wild in the near-term. Current knowledge suggests that habitat loss and degradation, particularly in the non-breeding range, has caused the decline. Low breeding participation by females has been implicated in recent declines (2000-2010), and may be a consequence of low food availability due to loss or inappropriate management of habitat, or the impacts of drought on habitat condition. The species is also at risk from climate change, and the small population size places the species at increased risk from factors such as loss of genetic diversity and inbreeding, stochastic environmental events, predators and competitors, disease, and barriers to migration and movement.
This plan has three primary objectives to prevent extinction and progress recovery over the next five years. They are:
- Objective 1. To achieve a stable or increasing population in the wild within five years.
- Objective 2. To increase the capacity of the captive population, both to support future releases of captive-bred birds to the wild and to provide a secure long-term insurance population.
- Objective 3. To protect and enhance habitat to maintain, and support growth of, the wild population.