The count of critically endangered orange-bellied parrots who have successfully migrated back to Tasmania’s South West from the mainland remains at 10 male birds.
However the Department of Primary Industry, Parks, Water and the Environment released eight captive birds, six females and two males, into Melaleuca on Tuesday.
Seven female captive birds were also released on Monday, a DPIPWE spokesperson said.
The captive birds were transported from a Zoos Victoria facility and kept in pre-release aviaries at Melaleuca to acclimatise before being released.
The department’s breeding program shared an update on social media on Tuesday reporting that the seven female birds were free-flying in the wilderness and the wild male parrots “had responded very positively”.
Senior researcher and ornithologist Mark Holdsworth said only 20 birds were expected to make their way back from Victoria and South Australia this year, sparking worries that without wild females successfully returning the bird would be functionally extinct.
Mr Holdsworth earlier disputed a change in departmental policy that restricted volunteers monitoring the birds’ migration from passing along daily updates.
However DPIPWE said volunteers were not restricted but simply asked to only communicate certain events such as the return of captive-bred birds to the department first.