Efforts to safeguard our rarest parrot

The remote, wildly beautiful and biodiverse Cape Arid National Park on Western Australia’s south coast is an important conservation area for 1100 species of plants and more than 160 bird species, several of which are threatened or endangered.

The rarest of its birds, the western ground parrot, is known only to exist in this near pristine wilderness and in the adjacent Nuytsland Nature Reserve.

Efforts are continuing to protect the western ground parrot, following a bushfire that burnt through some of the critically endangered birds’ habitat in January.

Before the fire, which was caused by lightening strikes, there were estimated to be fewer than 140 western ground parrots in the wild.

It is still unknown how many western ground parrots survived the fires, but recent surveys by the Parks and Wildlife Service (Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions) and volunteers indicate that some did escape.

As part of efforts to safeguard the species, five wild birds (two males and three females) were transferred from Cape Arid National Park to purpose-build aviaries at Perth Zoo last year and are being closely monitored.


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Picture: Jennene Riggs, taken at Perth Zoo for the filming of the documentary “Secrets at Sunrise”