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Orange-bellied parrot

Australia

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Neophema chrysogaster

Endangered

  • Habitat modification and degradation
  • Vulnerability to cats, foxes, and other predators
  • Frequency of inbreeding incidents
  • Mortality caused by urban and industrial development

The Orange-Bellied Parrot, one of the rarest birds in Australia, is a small grass parrot almost similar in size with a Budgerigar. This migratory bird spends its summers in Tasmania then relocates every winter to Victoria and South Australia.

It is characterised by its orange underside (hence the name), green and yellow plumage, and blue patches on its wings and forehead. It builds its nest in the hollows of Eucalypt trees and prefers seeds, fruits, flowers from sedgelands as its main source of food.

Current threats to the existence of the Orange-Bellied Parrot include the compromise of its specialist habitat requirements, destruction of its natural range, and many factors directly related to development efforts by humans.

Invasion of predators, noxious weeds, and man-made structures leads to loss of its wintering grounds or disruption of its migratory behaviours during spring time. Competition for its nesting sites and high incidents of inbreeding within its already small population also pose challenges to its population recovery.