Today is National Threatened Species Day in Australia. In 1936, September 7th was the date that the last thylacine, or Tasmanian Tiger, died in captivity.
Since then, we’ve improved our act a little, and since 1996, September 7th has been the day that we commemorate the animals and plants that have been lost, and resolve to work to protect those that still remain.
Wetlands all over the world are vital habitat for a large number of threatened species, perhaps most notably, for a broad range of migratory birds.
Above, you’ll see a picture of an amazing little bird, known by the catchy title of Blue/Black F. Blue/Black F’s name comes from the band on his leg – he’s one of only 50 or so orange-bellied parrots left in the wild today.
These tiny birds, not much bigger than a budgie, rely on saltmarsh wetlands for food for parts of their journey, and migrate every year from Victoria to Tasmania to raise their chicks. Blue/Black F is a bit of a champ – at nine years of age, he’s known to have done the trip across Bass Strait 17 times! That’s about 12,750km over his life time – the equivalent of flying from Perth to Moscow.
Orange-bellied parrots are listed as critically endangered – one step away from extinction. Fortunately, there’s a great team of scientists, land managers and community volunteers working together to try to help these little birds out – check out the Birdlife Australia site for more details.