Keeping our Orange-bellied Parrots safe

To ensure the health and safety of the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot (OBP), our birdwatching community, and other personnel at the Western Treatment Plant (WTP), a section of the general birdwatching route (including the Lake Borrie Bird Hide) is closed to ALL persons (except operational staff) for approximately 6-8 weeks.

We understand that the presence of this critically endangered species at the site provides birdwatchers with an exciting opportunity to view this bird in the wild. However, a disappointing increase in unacceptable conduct from some members of the birdwatching community at WTP is causing continual disruption of the birds’ wild behaviours.

The observed unacceptable conduct includes:
  • Entering areas on foot and vehicle that are closed to permit holders
  • Flushing birds out by not maintaining appropriate distance when viewing or photographing them
  • Driving over the prescribed speed limits on site
  • Driving dangerously in hazardous conditions

These behaviours present an increased safety risk to the OBPs and personnel on site, prevent the birds from foraging and flocking effectively, and damage sensitive threatened saltmarsh flora communities.

This 6-8 week period is a crucial time for the OBPs to settle on the mainland with minimal disturbance after their migration from south-west Tasmania. This route closure will create a temporary refuge for the OBPs and help them to renew their depleted energy levels from this migration in peace, and encourage birds to gather together in flocks.

To ensure the safety and health of the birds is maintained:
  • abide by the prescribed speed limit of 30km/hr or as per designated signage
  • follow the instructions on all signage, including the ‘ROAD CLOSED’ signs now placed at the entrances of the temporary refuge area
  • DO NOT ENTER areas you are not permitted to enter; a ‘ROAD CLOSED’ sign means an area is closed to foot traffic as well as vehicle traffic.

We appreciate your understanding. By abiding by these conditions you are helping to maintain the WTP as a key wintering site for this important critically endangered species.