With less than 140 western ground parrots remaining prior to the fire that destroyed 90 percent of its habitat in Western Australia, the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW), along with the Perth Zoo, sought to put two rescued birds into a breeding program. The male and female western ground parrots were kept separate from the others in the breeding program while they recovered. After a veterinary examination, Perth Zoo? senior zookeeper was optimistic about the birds?future.
Unfortunately, the zoo faced a setback when the two rescued birds died in captivity following a respiratory illness, Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports. The exact cause of death has not yet been determined.
John Lemon, Perth Zoo? Acting Director of Life Sciences, told Australian Broadcasting Corporation, “We have been working closely with the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) to understand the reproductive biology of the species with the intent to breed an insurance population. Perth Zoo will continue to care for the remaining five western ground parrots at the Zoo, which are monitored 24 hours a day and are all healthy.?lt;/span>
Lemon referred to the loss of the birds as a blow to the species. According to Australian Broadcasting Corporation, DPaW said while they do not know how many birds survived the fires, it is clear that there are survivors.