Thursday, 19 April 2012

Sweet Healesville boost for rare native bird population

FIFTEEN critically endangered helmeted honeyeaters have been released into the wild under a Department of Sustainability and Environment and Healesville Sanctuary project.
The release in mid-March boosted the numbers of the birds to an estimated 100 in the wild at two sites - Bunyip State Park, 20km southeast of Gembrook, and Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve, 18km south of Healesville.
DSE senior ornithologist Bruce Quin said this was the first time helmeted honeyeaters had been released in that section of Bunyip State Park.
The birds were fitted with tracking devices and transferred to aviaries at Bunyip State Park to allow them to get used to their wild environment without the danger of being attacked, especially by birds of prey.
The release takes the wild population of Victoria’s bird emblem to an estimated 100, a stark contrast to many years ago when they had plentiful habitat from Healesville to South Gippsland.

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