Regent Honeyeater (Xanthomyza phrygia)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 152510441
Critically Endangered Regent Honeyeater Breed for Release program.
The Regent Honeyeater first inhabited four Australian states, but is now only found in small patches of Box-Ironbark forest in New South Wales and Victoria. The current distribution is extremely patchy, with a small number of know breeding sites. It is estimated that only around 300 birds remain in the wild.
This project aims to reverse the decline and secure a stable and viable population in the wild. Taronga is responsible for an annual zoo-based breeding and bi-annual wild release program. Taronga will ensure that the highest level of genetic diversity of the birds is maintained. Between 50-75 bred birds will be released every other year until population of Regent Honeyeaters has improved to the point at wich it no longer meets threatened species status under the EPBC Act.
In April 2015 a record 77 birds bred and reared at Taronga were released into Chiltern-Mount Pilot National Park in north-eastern Victoria to bolster the dwindling population of wild birds. This is the largest-ever release of Zoo-bred honeyeaters into the wild. Tagged birds are released, monitored and scientific findings recorded.
To watch a video of the 2015 release:
Long term recovery of the species requires a landscape approach to conservation. Parallel projects such as tree planting days and community awareness programs help preserve and develop habitats and corridors so the Honeyeater will have the resources it needs to thrive in the future and maximise chances of survival of the birds.
Taronga will continue to breed and prepare Regent Honeyeaters for the next release in 2017.
Project 152510441 location - Australia, Oceania