Off the eastern coast of Australia, the Norfolk Island parakeet population nearly collapsed in the 1980s, but rebounded after a focused conservation effort. However, there are concerns that on-going rat and cat predation may again be causing a serious decline in numbers. The Fund helped researchers investigate the situation.
The project has confirmed the status of the Norfolk island parakeets as critically endangered and in urgent need of recovery. An overall lack of suitable nest-sites together with predation by rats and cats has reduced the breeding population to around 11 pairs. The project has stimulated action to rebuild and repair suitable nesting sites, review invasive species control measures, and consider the feasibility of translocation of some birds to predator-free Phillip Island in order to establish an insurance population. Commitments from federal government agencies have been made to re-establish recovery actions for the species as a priority.