Target: Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia
Goal: Provide financial relief and personnel support to conservationists working with endangered parrots.
Thought to be extinct for almost a century, the Australian Night Parrot has been re-discovered in the Australian outback. Fewer than 100 of these rare birds remain, and they face a long and difficult battle against extinction. The birds’ habitat is overrun with predators and has been devastated by deforestation. A dedicated group of activists and scientists is working to bring these parrots back from the brink, but they need assistance if they are to be successful in their endeavors.
The night parrot had not been seen since the 1890s and, apart from a pair of dead parrots found over the past 25 years, was presumed extinct by many wildlife experts. Recently, however, ornithologist John Young claimed that he had captured several pictures of the birds after spending 10 years searching for the bird in the outback of the Queensland area. Young’s photos sparked an intensive search and soon after, fellow scientist Steve Murphy captured a specimen and proved that the night parrot was not extinct.
The newly established habitat is now under protection, as the property has been acquired by Bush Heritage Australia, a non-profit organization dedicated to conservation. The night parrot no longer faces the risk of a destroyed habitat, but a much bigger threat looms–feral cats. Night parrots are ground-dwelling birds and make easy prey for predators, and the region in which they live is infested with feral cats. “It’s so important that we control feral cat numbers … because we know before the drought the cat numbers were horrendous,” said Murphy.
Despite these obstacles, conservationists remain optimistic that the Australian Night Parrot stands a good chance of replenishing its population numbers. The birds have a protected habitat and fewer predators, as well as the care and attention of dedicated experts. The species was already thought to be extinct once, and now Australia has the opportunity to protect them. Urge the government to do everything in its power to assist Bush Heritage Australia.
Dear Prime Minister Turnbull,
Thought to be extinct for almost a century, the Australian Night Parrot has been discovered alive. Fewer than 100 of these rare birds remain, and the remaining members face a severe shortage of genetic diversity as well as a habitat overrun with predators. Despite these obstacles, conservationists remain optimistic that the Australian Night Parrot stands a good chance of replenishing its population numbers.
The species was already thought to be extinct once, and now your government once again has the opportunity to protect them. Bush Heritage Australia, a conservation non-profit, has acquired the territory in which the night parrot lives and has begun an intensive campaign to protect the species. I urge you to do everything in your power to support these dedicated activists and scientists so that these precious birds can survive.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Martin Thompson