Crowdfunding Bird Protection?
Rare Parrot threatened with Extinction
You can utilise crowdfunding for anything these days and that includes a complex project to save a rare parrot from total extinction.
The Orange-Bellied Parrot
There are only 14 orange-bellied parrots left in the wild. This beautiful native of Tasmania is critically endangered and so drastic action is now required. The brilliantly named Difficult Bird Research Group is undertaking a last ditch effort to save the birds. Three of the wild-born birds are females that have begun the process of selecting nest boxes in Melaleuca. This is a windy area in the wilderness world heritage area near the southwest tip of Tasmania.
Flying for the Birds
Crowdfunding is enabling members of the group to fly to the nesting site from Hobart once a week to support the breeding birds. This work will involve taking eggs which have been laid in captivity and placing them into wild nests. The group will also track predators which may eat the young birds, and possibly even hand-feed the babies.
If any the females prove to be bad parents, the members of the research group will climb the trees every three hours to feed the babies until they can look after themselves. The project is a final desperate attempt to save a species which has been critically endangered for many years.
Unfortunately, captive birds which have been reared and then introduced to the wild have not been a success. They have rarely managed to survive the difficult migration across the Bass Strait to the coasts of south-western Victoria, where the parrots spend winter. The captive bred birds have become lazy and dependent and have no idea how to avoid predators. Add to this the fact that the species is not noted for its intelligence and you have a recipe for disaster.
It is now thought that tricking the wild birds into raising more nestlings by adding captive bred eggs to their nests represents the best chance for saving the parrots.
A similar project to rebuild echo parakeet numbers on Mauritius was successful and the population rose from 12 in 1990, to more than 600 today. The crowdfunding campaign has already raised double its original target of $60,000 and it is hoped that it will keep attracting interest so that the project can be supported for several years to come.