Love is in the air for our Western Ground Parrots:
As we approach breeding season, we’ve paired the Western Ground Parrots, creating aviaries of feathered couples.
Male, Mingko is with female Leuca, Monak has met his match in Kopin, Zephyr is ruffling the feathers of female Fifi and Brutus has been put with Kangal to see if they will create the first zoo- bred Western Ground Parrots!
Zephyr and Fifi appear to have got the memo that they need to get down to business to help save their species. They showed us they were all loved up in late July with Zephyr feeding Fifi. Allofeeding is a positive sign and one of the things our zoologists look for as we head into breeding season. Brutus and Kangal quickly followed suit!
To give them the privacy required and to ensure minimal disturbance is caused, we continue to track their reproductive behaviours via an extensive CCTV set-up. It’s the Western Ground Parrot equivalent of Big Brother.
7 August 2019
The five new birds (males Monak and Mingko, females Kangal, Leuca and Kopin) continue to settle into the specialised aviaries very well since their arrival to Perth Zoo last November.
Working with the new birds has provided further insight into Western Ground Parrot behaviour which has enabled validation of important husbandry strategies.
The four original birds (males Zephyr, Joy and Brutus and female Fifi) are also doing well.
Preparations are now well underway for the upcoming breeding season. This includes shifting birds into their prospective breeding aviaries, undertaking further vegetation maintenance to enhance the small cleared areas that are used for copulation, provision of breeding diets and preparation of incubation equipment.
CCTV monitoring/review will be further increased very soon to identify and track key reproductive behaviours during the breeding season.
With the new birds involved in this year's breeding season we have a busy time ahead.
7 May 2019
We’ve got some new parrots on the patch – Western Ground Parrots that is!
Late last year, five critically endangered Western Ground Parrots were bought to the Zoo from Cape Arid National Park as part of the recovery work to save the species from extinction.
The logistics in bringing the birds to the Zoo was immense, and it’s a credit to all involved that the five new birds were seamlessly transitioned to the custom Western Ground Parrot aviaries at the Zoo.
Western Ground Parrots are critically endangered, but there is hope the arrival of these new birds in the captive research program will help us gain insights that will lead to a successful breeding program in the future.
With the significant increase in knowledge our expert zoologists have gained over the past four and a half years of working with Western Ground Parrots, we have been able to provide the new birds with customised care from the point of wild capture, transport and settling into Zoo life.
To further support the transition of the new birds, Perth Zoo has specialist plant food delivered weekly all the way from Albany. Because we all know a bit of comfort food helps anyone settle into a new home.
Intensive CCTV monitoring has been undertaken for the birds with the support of additional staff and Zoo volunteers, and this has provided great insight into their behaviour.
Our five Western Ground Parrots have been given fitting names, four of them from the Nyoongar language.
Monak (male) – meaning, sun; shine; heat.
Mingko (male) – meaning, brave.
Kangal (female) – meaning, sunrise.
Leuca (female) - named after the plant genus Melaleuca.
Kopin (female) – meaning, secret.
Efforts to secure a future for the Western Ground Parrot is led by the Department of Biodiversity and Conservation (DBCA) involving the work of Parks and Wildlife, Biodiversity and Conservation Science and Perth Zoo staff, collaboration with the passionate community group, the Friends of Western Ground Parrot and funding from the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots.
15 March 2019