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Moonlit Sanctuary wins Premier's Sustainability Awards 2017

The Orange-bellied Parrot (OBP) National Recovery Plan calls for a sustainable captive breeding program of 400 birds to insure against extinction and enable their successful release. Moonlit Sanctuary seized the opportunity to become a cornerstone of the Plan.

The Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park has been announced as a winner in the Environmental Protection category for this year's Premier's Sustainability Awards for their Orange-bellied Parrot Breeding for Recovery program.The interim Chief Executive of Sustainability Victoria, Stephanie Ziersch, praised the team for their creative and insightful work towards building a more sustainable environment. "Delivering these Awards each year means we continue to discover the talent and enthusiasm Victorians have for protecting their environment and thinking creatively about new models of sustainability. These Awards represent Victoria's highest recognition for sustainability and acknowledge leadership, innovation and achievement. Each finalist should be congratulated for improving sustainable outcomes across business, government and within the community."  

Based on learnings from a trial block of five aviaries, they designed a 20-aviary complex for up to 40 breeding birds and 100 offspring. In 2016, with support from Zoos Victoria, they opened a new OBP breeding facility. Results for the first season from 12 pairs was 25 offspring, including their first double-clutch or individual layings, and supplied birds for Tasmanian breeding grounds and at the Werribee Open Range Zoo. Observers at Werribee commented that the birds went straight to wild food sources rather than supplementary food. The birds successfully flocked with wild birds arriving from Tasmania and, so far, have had a high survival rate. Scientists say the release has exceeded all expectations. Moonlit Sanctuary has committed to run the program until there is a viable wild population again and the species has been saved from extinction.

Scientists from Victoria's Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning say the release has exceeded all expectations. Now in its 15th year, the Premier's Sustainability Awards continue to promote leadership and innovation in sustainability, and encourage all Victorians to step up.


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