There are less than 50 Orange Bellied-Parrots (OPB) remaining in the wild globally.
The OBP is a migratory species which makes a round-trip journey across the rough oceans of the Bass Strait each year from Tasmania to south-eastern Australia.
With this species under threat, DELWP and Zoos Victoria are working together to take action to protect and restore populations of this colourful little bird through a joint initiative called the Orange-bellied Parrot project.
In April 2018, a small group of captive OBPs were released near Werribee as part of a national program to try to prevent the species becoming extinct in the wild.
This builds on results from the first year of the Mainland Release Trial, which saw 11 captive-bred parrots released near Werribee in 2017.
They were joined by wild birds, creating the largest flock of OBPs seen on the mainland for nearly 10 years.
DELWP and Zoos Victoria have been working with Melbourne Water and Parks Victoria since January to prepare for the release at the Western Treatment Plant and at The Spit Nature Conservation Reserve.
The release groups include captive-bred birds sourced from Moonlit Sanctuary, Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Open Range Zoo, and ‘aided migration’ birds, that have been previously released in Tasmania.
They were recaptured and flown by plane from the Tasmanian breeding grounds to Victoria.
The Victorian Government is providing $200,000 of funding for this four-year project to help prevent the extinction of OBP in the wild.
Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the ground-breaking project, that's aiming to save the Orange-bellied Parrot from extinction.
This video shows the recent release of captive birds near the Werribee Treatment Plant.