The Orange Bellied Parrot

Critically Endangered! Only 44 remaining in the wild!

Characteristics

The orange bellied parrot, scientifically known as the Neophema Chrysogaster, is approximately 20cm (8") in height and are found in Australia and New Zealand. The males are distinguished by their bright green upper body, yellow underparts, and orange bellies. Females have the same color combinations however the females colors are not as bright. Bright blue wings are also found among both genders. Lastly the Parrot is listed on the Red list under the critiically endangered category.

Why are they threatened?

  1. Habitat loss
  2. Fox and cats are their predators
  3. Spread of poisonous weeds.
  4. Inbreeding due to small populations.


Overall there are no direct human impacts on the Orange Bellied Parrot as all the impacts are coming from other species taking their nesting ground and having no protect in the wild.

Critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot

Habitat/Biome and Nutrition

The Orange Bellied Parrot calls the grassland and desert biome's of Australia home. The parrot breeds in Australia's Button grass on the ground, not having a lot of protection against their predators. Living in the grasslands the birds eat grasses, berries, and shrubs. The Orange Bellied Parrots are a low trophic level as they are low on the food chain with different types of cats eating the birds. Lastly the birds are often found in flocks living in the grasslands that have been burnt 3-15 years ago. Below is a picture of the button grass plains in Tasmania, Australia and a map of Australia, the red parts being where the parrots reside.

What is being done?

The Australian government committed to a $3.2 million project to protect the birds. Under the project the government has been conserving their habitat in Tasmania and initiated a captive breeding program. There are over 300 birds in captivity and many zoo's in Australia and New Zealand and the goal is to have over 350 in captivity in 2017. In 2010 there were 21 parrots captured from the wild with a goal to increase genetic diversity of the birds living in the wild. Below are a facebook page a news article and more information regarding how conservationists are protecting the Orange Bellied Parrot.

Works Cited

1. "Neophema Chrysogaster." (Orange-bellied Parakeet, Orange-bellied Parrot). Red List. Web. 26 Mar. 2015. <http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22685203/0>.


2. "Orange-bellied Parrot." Orange-bellied Parrot. Web. 26 Mar. 2015. <http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Neophema-chrysogaster>.


3. "Orange Bellied Parrot Recovery." BirdLife. Web. 19 Mar. 2015. <http://birdlife.org.au/projects/orange-bellied-parrot-recovery>.




By Cameron Lago