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Rescuing the Norfolk Island Green Parrot

An isolated island 1,500 kilometers east of the Australian mainland is not the first place that springs to mind as home to one of Australia’s most endangered parrots. Famous more for its pines than its parrots, this remote Australian territory is where you’ll find the unique Norfolk Island Green Parrot.

But all is not well for the Green Parrot on its idyllic South Pacific island home.  In a depressingly familiar tale, the species was once common in the forests of Norfolk Island when it was first discovered in the late 1700s, but by the late 1970s the species had declined to fewer than 50 individuals. The main reasons for this decline were shooting by early settlers, egg and chick predation by introduced rats and cats, and a shortage of safe nesting hollows due to the clearing of the forest. If that wasn’t bad enough, the introduction of Crimson Rosellas from the Australian mainland and Common Starlings made finding a nest site even harder for the native parrots.

Over the years there have been many organisations and people working hard to ensure this story can have a happy ending by controlling rats and cats, protecting nest sites and rehabilitating habitat. In fact, saving the Norfolk Island Green Parrot is a story of global collaboration and The Nature Conservancy is proud to have played a part in this by funding some of the important baseline science that demonstrated the perilous status of the species and recommending management actions that could be quickly acted upon to give it the best chance of recovery.

Phillip Island (off Norfolk Island) before and after rehabilitation, ready to receive translocated Green Parrots

The next exciting chapter in that recovery process is happening right now – a proposed translocation of 30 Norfolk Island Green Parrots to nearby Phillip Island to establish a second population to further secure the future of this magnificent bird.

You can find out more about that translocation project and how you can play a part here.