Critically Endangered parrots killed by rats at breeding facility

Captive breeding efforts to save the Critically Endangered Orange-bellied Parrot Neophema chrysogaster -  Australia’s rarest bird with perhaps as few as 50 individuals in the wild - have suffered a major setback.

Fourteen Orange-bellied Parrots were killed by rats during late 2015 at the Taroona (Hobart) captive-breeding facility, which is run by Tasmania's Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.

The affected birds were being held separately in quarantine from the main breeding stock, as they were suffering from Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD). Following the killing of two parrots during October and November, in early December a more serious incident led to the death of the remaining birds. (In May 2013 two Orange-bellied Parrots in the same facility were killed by a cat that breached the perimeter fence.)

Read the full story at the BrdLife International website.

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