By U.S. Ambassador John Berry
On Endangered Species Day today I wanted to share a trip I took to the Priam Psittaculture Center in nearby Bungendore.
PCC is a specialist conservation facility for Australian and exotic parrots. Not only do they have the biggest hearts when it comes to endangered birds, but they’re leaders in the research and development of sustainable captive breeding.
Among PCC’s projects is the conservation of iconic Australian avian species – like the critically endangered Orange-Bellied Parrot, identified in Australia’s Threatened Species Strategy as one of 20 birds to be recovered by 2020. PCC looks after 37 Orange-Bellied Parrots in their captive breeding program. Out in the wild, there are approximately 40 of these small parrots left. They have a global biomass of just 1.5 kilos – that’s less than a carton of milk! So it was a truly special experience to see these beautiful birds in person.
PCC’s care for precious fauna extends to species management programs for other animals like the Green and Gold Bell Frog and the Northern Quoll. They work with organizations like Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary to develop breeding populations for the reintroduction of species like the New Holland Mouse into native habitats. What’s more, they’ve enlisted Maggie – a conservation dog who sniffs out threatened species’ habitats and keeps feral cats out!
My thanks to Priam Australia’s Facility Manager Daniel Gowland for letting folks like me, Curtis, and Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews visit and enjoy time with amazing animals we need to maintain on our Planet Earth.