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Orange-bellied Parrot and Christmas Island Pipistrelle bat listed as critically endangered

21/03/2007 00:00:00

Orange-bellied Parrot facts

  • Only 100-150 adults birds left alive.
  • Breeds in Tasmania and migrates to south coast of mainland Australia for winter.
  • The population has probably been stable at around 150-200 birds for 50-60 years (So why did it take so long to list it as critically endangered? Ed.).
  • It is a disctinctive, but small bird, only about 8 inches long.
September 2006. The Orange-bellied Parrot and the Christmas Island Pipistrelle bat have been upgraded from 'endangered' to 'critically endangered' by the Australian Government.

‘It only makes sense that a bird which is so critically endangered be recognized by elevating it to the highest level of protection that the EPBC Act can offer. The independent Threatened Species Scientific Committee made its assessment and strongly advised to provide the new listing.’

The Christmas Island Pipistrelle, a small species of bat, is endemic to Christmas Island. It was listed as endangered in 2001, but has continued to decline due to attacks by introduced predators such as rats, feral cats and the highly invasive Yellow Crazy Ant.

‘The decision to list the Orange-bellied Parrot as critically endangered is based on advice from the Threatened Species Scientific Committee that it occurs in very low numbers and the species' long-term survival is not secure,’ said the Australian Government Minister for Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell.

Only about 100 to 150 adults birds exist, and the Parrot faces a number of threats, including habitat loss and modification, predators, and catastrophes such as storms during migration and wildfires in its breeding areas.

To further protect the Orange-bellied Parrot, Senator Campbell announced AUS$3.2 million funding to enable work with landholders, NGOs and state governments to undertake habitat protection and expansion in migratory, breeding and wintering areas.
‘To address the threats to the Christmas Island Pipistrelle, a Threat Abatement Plan which includes the Yellow Crazy Ant is being implemented on Christmas Island. A regional Recovery Plan for the Island's biodiversity is also under development’, Senator Campbell said.

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