Helmetted Honey Eater by judithdeacon

Helmetted Honey Eater

I make no apologies for uploading photos of a bird in captivity. The story of the Helmetted Honey Eater reinforces the necessity for breeding in captivity of some of our endangered species.

The Helmetted Honey Eater is a critically endangered bird and you can see it has very little fear of humans or other preditors. They are being bred in captivity at Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria for eventual release. However, survival rate on release from captivity sits at less than 40 percent.

Its problem; it doesn't know what to fear.

Over the past three decades, conservation teams have worked to rebuild the species' population, but at last count, there are fewer than 100 left in the wild.

The birds show no fear of predators an in captivity just aren't getting the right sort of training about predators.

When the birds are released a lot of them were being taken by wild birds of prey and some of the birds were flying toward the predators, instead of away from them.

In the hope of improving survival rates, Healesville Sanctuary introduced predator awareness training as part of its Helmeted Honeyeater conservation regime. They positioned a Goshawk in a neighbouring enclosure and encouraged it to fly back and forth between perches.

At the same time, a shade cloth creates a sudden patch of darkness, a loud noise and a physical disruption of the Helmeted Honeyeater's enclosure.

When they get a sudden fright, they duck into the bushes and hide for an extended period of time and the results of the predator awareness training have been staggering.

Survival rates of the birds released subsequent to the regime have more than doubled, up to 90 per cent.

The most encouraging sign is that it appears those who have received the training are passing their predator awareness and reactions on to other Helmeted Honeyeaters.
Wow what a gorgeous capture!! Fav!
February 3rd, 2018  
Great capture!
February 3rd, 2018  
Wow, no wonder they are struggling.
February 3rd, 2018  
What an amazing shot, fav!
February 3rd, 2018  
A fabulous capture and a very interesting and inspiring story.
February 3rd, 2018  
That is amazing Judith. Great story as well. Must visit there one day. I think I would like it :-)
February 3rd, 2018  
Wow :) fav
February 3rd, 2018  
Awesome picture.
February 3rd, 2018  
Super shot
February 3rd, 2018  
Brilliant shot. Fav
February 4th, 2018  
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