This year's breeding season for the orange-bellied parrot has been the best in Tasmania for decades.
Environment Minister Roger Jaensch on Tuesday said there were 544 adult orange-bellied parrots in the state's breeding program, including 254 adult birds and 130 nestlings and fledglings housed at the $2.5 million Five Mile Beach captive breeding facility.
He said the facility had enabled the breeding population to double.
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Mr Jaensch said 305 eggs were laid at Five Mile Beach this season which resulted in 29 nestlings and 101 fledgings so far. He said there were 137 eggs laid at Melaleuca which had resulted in 88 confirmed nestlings.
"The birds that have been hatched and fledged here have now been re-introduced to the wild population and they've learnt from the wild birds how to forage, make that long migration across Bass Strait, and come back and be part of the breeding population in the wild," Mr Jaensch said.
He said 50 juveniles would be released to increase the size of the flock migrating north from Melaleuca this breeding season.
Wildlife biologist Shannon Troy said the orange-bellied parrot's wild population was down to 17 birds a few years ago, of which just three were female.
"The species almost certainly would have gone extinct the following year," she said. "With thanks to the captive breeding population, we were able to release a sufficient number of females."
Ms Troy said 51 birds have returned in this year' migratory season and produced 83 birds - the highest number of fledglings since monitoring began in the 1990s.
Specialist keeper Darren Page said human interaction with the captive population was minimal so the birds did not become domesticated.
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