Twenty beloved conservation-bred regent honeyeaters have been released into the wild to help save one of Australia’s most endangered species.
The largest release of conservation-bred regent honeyeaters has taken place in NSW as part of the Australia-wide recovery effort to save the birds.
To save the regent honeyeaters, Taronga Zoo raised 20 birds in specialised facilities, where they have been successfully breeding the species for 20 years.
The birds have been released into the wild in the Lower Hunter NSW. It’s hoped they will mix with the wild population and breed.
The honeyeaters are at critical levels, with only around 350 birds remaining.
Once widespread across south-eastern Australia, they now exist in small numbers across limited sites from north-eastern Victoria to south-eastern Queensland.
Environment Minister Matt Kean said saving the birds is crucial, with the devastating 2019-2020 summer bushfires further impacting the endangered species.
“This project aims to bolster the wild population with conservation bred birds, until it becomes self-sustaining,” Mr Kean said.
Learn more about the Saving our Species program.