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Chester Zoo Works to Save Precious Parrots

Leading conservationist and beloved Cheshire landmark Chester Zoo has recently enjoyed another success in its efforts to protect a rare species. This time, a parrot species called Mitchell’s lorikeets are being preserved. The birds are among the world’s rarest and are currently facing extinction.

Two of the exceptionally rare birds hatched at Chester Zoo recently and its conservationists have called it a “pivotal moment” for the avian species. At one point in time, the Mitchell’s lorikeet could easily be seen in the trees and skies above the Indonesian islands of Lombok and Bali, but the latest searches have uncovered that just a handful of birds remain. In 2020, a conservation group set out to locate the remaining populations and recorded that only seven of the parrots were living in Bali.

Trapping and hunting as part of the illegal wildlife trade is the main driver for the drastic reduction in numbers. As a result of these activities and the conservationist’s findings, the birds are now listed as an endangered species by BirdLife International and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The two new chicks will now join a special breeding programme designed for the species, which was created to form a critical safety-net population in a range of conservation zoos situated in Europe. Parrot Team Manager at Chester Zoo, Zoe Sweetman, commented:

“Given how precious the chicks are, we’ve been monitoring them very closely and weighing the duo regularly to give them every chance of fledging the nest and reaching adulthood.”

Chester zookeepers will now determine the sex of the new arrivals when they test the DNA samples taken from their feathers.

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