The return of orange-bellied parrots to Tasmania's shores is a welcome sight for conservationists, as the annual effort to protect the nation's most at-risk bird species ramps back up.
The species, which migrates across the Bass Strait every year to breed in South-West Tasmania, has topped endangered lists for years, after habitat loss, disease and a lack of females left numbers in the wild dwindling.
However, hope for the future of the native bird blossomed during last year's breeding season.
Following a program of nest and predator management, researchers from the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment tallied up 51 individual orange-bellied parrots, beating the previous record set in 2015.
This year, "Greet E Yellow" was the first captive-bred bird to be recorded at the parrots' breeding grounds in the state's South-West.
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Three wild-born birds have since arrived, promoting hope among wildlife conservationists for the future of the species.
Looking to build on the success, the state government invested $2.5 million into a captive breeding facility at Five Mile Beach to boost population numbers further.
Speaking on the conservation program, Environment Minister Roger Jaensch remains hopeful for this year's efforts.
"We are certainly hoping to see more orange-bellied parrots return this season. Last year saw the largest flock set out on their migration north since recovery efforts began, and we hope that a corresponding record number of birds will return this season," he said.
When asked how everyday Tasmanians can help in the conservation effort to save the species, Mr Jaensch highlighted a number of ways people can promote native birdlife.
"Data shows that cats are a major contributor to native bird loss in Tasmania, so controlling cat movements is an easy step to help protect our native bird life.
"Additionally, designing buildings to prevent bird strike, and growing native gardens are also helpful," he said.
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