In September 2018 there were fewer than 20 orange-bellied parrots still in the wild. They breed in south-west Tasmania over summer then migrate every winter to the southern coastline of Victoria, including the shores of Western Port Bay, 500 metres south of Moonlit Sanctuary.
Moonlit Sanctuary has constructed a breeding facility capable of holding up to 20 pairs of birds with the support of Zoos Victoria and the Aviculture Society of Australia. Since 2014, we have bred over 140 birds of which more than 40 have been released into the wild.
In addition, Moonlit Sanctuary has a “ranching” aviary capable of holding up to 40 wild birds. Many orange-bellied parrots are lost over the winter migration period so we hold genetically valuable wild birds over this period in a facility where they experience wild climatic conditions and a natural diet. They are then released back into the wild in the breeding grounds the following spring.