the walk of shame for Orange-bellied Parrots

To: <>
Subject: the walk of shame for Orange-bellied Parrots
From: "Peter Menkhorst" <>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2010 21:42:45 +1000
Simon Mustoe stated in his recent posting on this chat-line and on his website 
that the recovery team is planning on removing half the population of OBPs to 
captivity this year. This statement is wrong and unhelpful and I ask that it be 
removed from Bird-O. An accurate description of the Action Plan endorsed by the 
State and Commonwealth Governments can be found in the recovery team's 
newsletter 'Trumped-up Corella' on the BA website. There was also an article in 
the June Wingspan and there will be another in the September issue.

The recovery team plans to increase the number of founder individuals in the 
captive population, to a total of 30 if possible. The program to take wild 
birds has been carefully designed to cause minimum harm to the wild population 
- it is a scientifically-based, selective harvest. We aim to remove one 
nestling from all nests that can be accessed for as long as there is a wild 
breeding population, or until the target is reached. We will also attempt to 
catch any unbanded juveniles because they are likely to be derived from a 
different breeding group to those from the main breeding population at 
Melaleuca in sw Tasmania, where all nestlings have been banded for the last 8 
years or so. Because they are probably not from the Melaleuca breeding group, 
unbanded juveniles may be more valuable as founders for the captive population 
- the Melaleuca breeding group is already over-represented in captivity.

Targeting juveniles results in a lower impact on the wild population than 
targeting adults because, as in any population, the juvenile mortality rate is 
higher and most of them will not reach adulthood anyway. Juveniles taken into 
captivity may begin breeding before they are 12 months old.

Taking a single nestling from each nest eliminates the possibility of bringing 
in full siblings, ensuring maximum flexibility in options for pairing captive 
birds, and allows the remaining nestlings (clutch size usually 3-5) to continue 
their natural development as wild birds.

The annual winter OBP count is on this weekend - wish us luck, right now we 
know the whereabouts of perhaps 7 birds!

Peter Menkhorst
Chair, Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Team
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