Welcome to Perth Zoo

Once they’re gone, they’re gone... We’re part of a team working around the clock to keep them off the extinction list.

The critically endangered Western Ground Parrot (Pezoporus flaviventris), also known as 'Kyloring’ , is a secretive bird which only reveals itself for minutes at dawn and dusk as its unique and beautiful bell-like calls resonate through its remote heathland home. The rest of the time, it is virtually invisible thanks to its outstanding camouflage, elusive nature and the ground-foraging habits from which it takes its name. Not surprisingly, this has hampered the very best efforts to learn more about one of Western Australia’s most endangered birds.


The Western Ground Parrot is one of 22 bird species nationally which the Australian Government has prioritised for recovery.  

The last remaining stronghold of the population now persists only in Cape Arid National Park and Nuytsland Nature Reserve (WA) – with no more than 150 individuals thought to remain. The species is very particular about their habitat, requiring diverse near-coastal heath with patches that have not burned for a decade. Management of threats including feral species and wildfire risk reduction is considered critical to their survival.

In 2003, the then Department of Parks and Wildlife established the Western Ground Parrot Recovery Project. Field monitoring of population trends, radio tracking and a captive management program have added to the body of knowledge about this cryptic species. At the same time, fire suppression has been improved and introduced predator control, in particular feral cats, has continued as a key focus. A three year trial translocation was initiated in 2021, with a small number of birds being moved from Cape Arid National Park to a conservation east of Albany. This trial's goal was to establish an insurance population. Perth Zoo activitely participated in many of these activities, including in the support of the recent translocations by providing essential animal care and veterinary expertise. 

Study of Biology and Behaviour for Breeding

Eight hundred kilometres north from their native habitat, Perth Zoo has created a specialised home for a very small number of Western Ground Parrots – custom-designed aviaries where we can monitor them 24-7 via CCTV and develop husbandry and breeding requirements. By increasing knowledge of their behaviour, social interactions and even dietary preferences, we are achieving a better understanding of their needs. This is improving the chance of successful breeding for these mysterious birds, as well as informing studies of wild birds. 

So far we have identified unique behaviours, calls and social requirements which has enabled us to refine their husbandry, resulting in a number of the birds attempting to breed. Challenges with egg viability and calcium metabolism have been encountered, and we are working to overcome these. More recently, collaboration with international specialists enabled us to examine the reproductive viability of males and the potential for assisted reproduction methods that could further support the species recovery in the future. Providing species specific optimised conditions is a very important step in developing a successful breeding program and we are working towards this goal. 

Working with criticially endangered species is challenging. Due to the small number of animals, it can take time to figure out species specific needs. With so few surviving in the wil, the Western Ground Parrot is in desperate need of help. 

Partners and Supporters

The Western Ground Parrot Recovery efforts are coordinated through the South Coast Threatened Birds Recovery Team. This group involves representatives from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation, and Attractions'  Parks and Wildlife Service, Friends of the Western Ground Parrot, Perth Zoo, community and Birdlife WA

Management of habitat and the ground parrot field program is coordinated by DBCA's Parks and Wildlife Service and since 2003 has been supported by funding from various sources including the South Coast NRM, State NRM and the Commonwealth Government.

The recovery work is supported by dedicated volunteers, and the community group Friends of the Western Ground Parrot who also lobby for funds to support recovery efforts. Captive management and reproductive biology investigation is coordinated by Perth Zoo in collaboration with DBCA's Parks and Wildlife Service, and has been supported by the Zoo and Aquarium Association and Main Roads WA. 


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