Norfolk Island Green Parrot
Found nowhere else in the world, and 1500 kilometers east of the Australian mainland on a remote Australian territory lives the rare Norfolk Island Green Parrot. This unique bird is Critically Endangered and has been on the brink of extinction twice.
Once common in the forests of Norfolk Island, by the late 1970s the species had dramatically declined due to chick and egg predation by introduced rats and cats and a shortage of suitable nests due to clearing of the forests. After only four breeding pairs were recorded in the 1980s, implementation of a recovery plan successfully boosted the population to 160 individuals in 2001. The species was then downlisted to endangered which lead to a decline in funding for monitoring and management. As the population was not being monitored adequately, its second collapse was not detected until it was almost too late – in 2013 only 11 breeding females remained.
This second decline was due to invasive species, such as cats and rats predating on the birds and competition for nest-hollows with introduced common starlings and crimson rosellas.
Urgent action was required, with an installation of 75 predator-resistant nest sites at Phillip Island which lead to a relocation of 44 fledglings. Establishing a second population of green parrots will ensure the bird's long-term survival.
The long-term future of the Norfolk Island Green Parrot depends on ongoing support for a recovery project.
Birdlife Australia is calling on the Australian Government to implement priority actions - monitoring and management, to recover the Critically Endangered Norfolk Island Green Parrot.
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