Critically endangered regent honeyeaters take flight on Wonnarua Country

58 regent honeyeaters, bred at Taronga Zoo and Taronga Western Plains Zoo, were released on Wonnarua Country within the Kurri Kurri and Cessnock Woodlands, north-west of Newcastle.

One of the regent honeyeaters released into the Kurri Kurri

Wild numbers of regent honeyeaters have fallen to critically low levels, and the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program is working with Taronga Conservation Society and BirdLife Australia on a captive breeding program to help save this species.

This release is even more significant because of the partnership with Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Land Council, who made their land available for the birds to take flight. The council are working with us to help the honeyeaters find their calling voice, through a reawakening of Wonnarua language and cultural connection to country.

“In helping the birds find their song and People using Wonnarua language once more, the voice of the sacred Country we are standing on can again be truly understood,” said Tara Dever, CEO of Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Having these birds once again sing on country is part of this reawakening and gives us hope and optimism for this species.

Learn more about how Saving our Species is working to secure a future for our regent honeyeaters and other threatened species in NSW.