Orange-bellied Parrot Volunteer Winter Counts for south-west Victoria


Join us in searching for one of Australia’s most endangered and spectacular parrots!

Flock of Orange-bellied Parrots. Photo by Chris Tzaros

Flock of Orange-bellied Parrots. Photo by Chris Tzaros

The plight of the OBP.

The OBP is a critically endangered species nationally, as listed on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) with the current population estimated to be less than 70 birds. Add to this the species cryptic nature, and being not much larger than a budgerigar, it is no surprise that locating birds that make it to their wintering grounds is no mean feat!

The OBP is a remarkable parrot, battling the elements to make at least a thousand kilometre journey each year from its only known breeding grounds at Melaleuca, south-west Tasmania, to wintering habitat site on the mainland of Australia. Historically, this species is known to occur in a coastal area that spans from the Coorong in South Australia to Gippsland in eastern Victoria.

Searching for the needles in a haystack

Volunteers have played a pivotal role in searches for the OBP throughout its mainland habitat for many decades.

Each year, volunteers spend many hours of their time searching – literally – in sun, rain, hail, or storm to try and locate individuals at key locations across thousands of kilometres of coastline. The information gathered is important in providing information on where there birds are travelling to, how their movements are changing over time, their key habitat preferences, and what management is required at their wintering sites for their conservation.

NGT joining the search

Coordination of this volunteer effort in Victoria has been a joint effort between the Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning, and BirdLife Australia, one of the oldest and most respected national bird conservation organisations in Australia.

This season, NGT is pleased to join this partnership again to deliver the coordination of the volunteer searches across habitat areas of south-west Victoria.

We would love to have your help!

With such a large geographical area to cover, building our volunteer base is critical. If you would like to assist in the search for an iconic and highly threatened species, as well as see some of our spectacular coastline, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Nicole at , or ph: 0414 778 309

Coastal wetland of south-west Victoria

Coastal wetland of south-west Victoria. Photo by John Hargreaves

Adult Female Orange-bellied Parrot. Photo by Chris Tzaros

Adult Female Orange-bellied Parrot. Photo by Chris Tzaros


Want to know more?

Visit the BirdLife Australia OBP page for more information on;

  • What’s involved in volunteering
  • Identifying OBPs and other Neophema’s
  • The latest updates on the National OBP Recovery Program
Join the ‘Save the Orange-bellied Parrot’ Facebook page and join the conversation

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The 2016 Orange-bellied Parrot Surveys in Victoria are jointly funded by the Victorian Government’s Threatened Species Protection Initiative, and the Commonwealth Government’s National Landcare Program via the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority.