Orange-bellied Parrot - endangered species listing

NSW Scientific Committee - final determination

The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Final Determination to list the Orange-bellied Parrot, Neophema chrysogaster (Latham 1790), as an ENDANGERED SPECIES on Part 1 of Schedule 1 of that Act. Listing of Endangered Species is provided for by Part 2 of the Act.

The Scientific Committee found that:

1. The Orange-bellied Parrot, Neophema chrysogaster (Latham 1790), is distributed along the south-eastern coastal areas of the Australian mainland and Tasmania. The Parrot breeds during the summer in south-west Tasmania in the forested margins of coastal sedgeplains and within copses in heathland. When not breeding, it migrates to the mainland where it feeds in coastal saltmarshes and dunes. It is usually patchily distributed from south-east South Australia to the eastern portion of Gippsland in Victoria.

2. A small number of sightings of Orange-bellied Parrot are known from New South Wales. One specimen from Thredbo in 1917 now held at the CSIRO collection in Canberra and two consecutive sightings near Nowra in 1986 indicate that the species' distribution extends into south-eastern New South Wales. There is also a specimen in the Macleay Museum which is thought to have been collected from Long Bay in Sydney last century.

3. The range of the Orange-bellied Parrot outside of New South Wales appears to have remained constant over the last decade, although it remains at imminent risk given its low numbers (around 150 individuals). The species is listed as Endangered in South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria and under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act. The low number of Orange-bellied Parrot sightings in New South Wales indicates that the species now rarely visits this State.

4. Factors threatening the survival of the Orange-bellied Parrot include: very small, disjunct populations face an increased risk of extinction; clearing of native vegetation, grazing and urban development of coastal areas reduce the availability of winter feeding habitat; alteration to fire regimes adversely affect breeding habitat in Tasmania; competition for resources from introduced bird species; and, predation pressure from introduced carnivores such as cats and foxes.

5. In view of the above points, the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that the Orange-bellied Parrot, Neophema chrysogaster, is likely to become extinct in nature in New South Wales unless the circumstances and factors threatening its survival or evolutionary development cease to operate, and is therefore eligible for listing as an Endangered Species.

Proposed Gazettal date: 15/12/00

Exhibition period: 15/15/00 - 25/01/01

About the NSW Scientific Committee

Page last updated: 28 February 2011