Managing pests to help Orange-bellied Parrots on the Bellarine Peninsula

The critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot will have improved winter feeding grounds on the Bellarine Peninsula and Avalon Foreshore this year, thanks to a pest control project supported by Corangamite Catchment Management Authority through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Corangamite CMA with the assistance of Parks Victoria is managing foxes, cats, rabbits and weeds on public land at eight coastal saltmarsh sites at Lake Connewarre, Edwards Point Reserve, the Karaaf and Bancoora wetlands and Avalon Coastal Reserve. Over 350 hectares is under management, of which 235 hectares has been mapped as critical habitat for the Orange-bellied Parrot. Managing pests and weeds reduces the risk of predation and improves the parrot’s preferred diet of native seeds and plants.

Orange-bellied Parrots are one of only three migratory parrot species in the world. They make a 1,000 kilometre round trip each year from a summer breeding site in Tasmania to their winter feeding grounds in southern Victoria and South Australia. In April 2019 a captive breeding program led by the Victorian Government and Zoos Victoria released around 20 birds near Werribee and Avalon.

“Orange-bellied Parrots are an iconic, but sadly now rare, species of the Corangamite region. Corangamite CMA’s on-ground work to improve coastal habitats is helping boost the chances of survival for these critically endangered birds.” – Robert Bone CMA