Critically endangered species in NSW (TSC Act). It is also listed as an endangered and migratory species at national level in the EPBC Act.
What does it look like?
The Orange-bellied Parrot is a small, stocky, ground-dwelling parrot, primarily a deep, grassy green. It has a blue forehead-band (that does not extend behind the eye), a green (not yellow) face, and blue wing-edges.
The orange patch on the yellow belly is not a very reliable field mark.
Where does it live?
The Orange-bellied Parrot breeds in the south-west of Tasmania and migrates in autumn to spend the winter on the mainland coast of south-eastern South Australia and southern Victoria. There are occasional reports from NSW, with the most recent records from Shellharbour and Maroubra in May 2003.
On the mainland, they spend winter mostly within three kilometes of the coast in sheltered coastal habitats including bays, lagoons, estuaries, coastal dunes and saltmarshes. They also inhabit small islands and peninsulas and occasionally saltworks and golf courses.
What does it eat?
Diet mainly comprises seeds and fruits of sedges and salt-tolerant coastal and saltmarsh plants. Occasionally, flowers and stems are eaten. They can be found foraging in low samphire herbland or taller coastal shrubland. They also feed in weedy areas associated with thir favoured coastal habitats or even totally modified landscapes such as pastures, seed crops and golf courses.
Recent records from unexpected places, including Shellharbour and Maroubra suggest that the species may be expanding their selection of habitats and foraging plant species.
What is its lifecycle?
The population is very small (less than 200 birds) and has a restricted breeding distribution (in Tasmania) that can be impacted by catastrophic events such as fire or storms.
What are the threats?
- Fragmentation and degradation of coastal overwintering habitats on the NSW coast including saltmarsh and dune habitats from grazing, agricultural and residential impacts.
- Fox and cat predation are known threats to Orange-bellied Parrots.
- Competition for food resources with other seed-eaters.
- Psittacine Circoviral Disease (PCD) has been recorded in captive and wild populations.
- Catastropic events such as fire or storm in their breeding areas.
What can we do to protect it?
- Keep domestic cats and dogs indoors at night.
- Report any sightings to the local council or the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
- Control fox, wild dog and feral cats on your property in accordance with local laws.
- Create additional habitat and maintain it within your property.
Updated: 13 Aug 2012