There was an email sent to Birds Australia members about this a couple of
days ago, and a media release (text below):
Media Release April 2009
Orange-bellied Parrots to be wiped out in wave of extinctions?
The two national bird conservation organisations, Birds Australia and BOCA
(Bird Observation & Conservation Australia), warned today that the plight of
the Orange-bellied Parrot is a wake up call that highlights the looming
extinction crisis facing Australia.
"The crisis facing the Orange-bellied Parrot demonstrates that threatened
species conservation needs to be taken seriously", said Birds Australia's
Conservation Manager, Samantha Vine. Ms Vine said that a recent report by
the IUCN warned that we are in the grip of the sixth great extinction of
species, comparable to the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
In a recent review Birds Australia and BOCA found that there is insufficient
data to determine the population status of the majority of Australian birds.
Ms Vine said that as well as monitoring, funding research is essential to
quickly detect trends and breeding success and therefore predict the decline
of a species. "Research has to be part of the package for threatened species
recovery", said Ms Vine.
Both organisations support the critical actions being taken by the
Orange-bellied Parrot recovery team and applaud the Australian government's
commitment to saving the parrot. She stressed the importance of maintaining
focus on the wild population. "It is essential that the captive breeding
program be carried out to support the parrot's survival in the wild".
Ms Vine said that the long-term monitoring data for the Orange-bellied
Parrot was collected by an army of more than 100 dedicated volunteers over
25 years. "Without these volunteers, we would not know how the species is
faring. But with their help, the recovery team has been able to detect the
decline, narrow down threats, and take steps to bolster the captive
population. The fact that the species exists at all is testament to their
efforts", she said.
In the International year of Biodiversity, Birds Australia and BOCA are
calling on all governments to recognise that we are in the midst of a
Biodiversity crisis, and to invest more n research, monitoring and on-ground
conservation for threatened species protection and ecovery.