Regent Honeyeater captive release – 2022 NSW
By Mick Roderick, Woodland Bird Program Manager at BirdLife Australia.
The Regent Honeyeater is a critically endangered bird that is now so few in number that we need to breed them in captivity, not just so that we have an insurance population but also to supplement the extremely small wild population, which may be as few as 250 individuals.
Most of the releases of Regent Honeyeaters have so far occurred in north-east Victoria, but since 2020 three releases have occurred in the Lower Hunter near Cessnock. The most successful of these have occurred in a remarkable patch of bushland just south of Kurri, known as the Tomalpin Woodlands.
In recent years, the Tomalpin Woodlands have emerged as the single most important site for Regent Honeyeaters and in 2018 it was the only place in NSW that they bred.
The most recent release occurred in mid-November 2022 when exactly 50 zoo-bred Regent Honeyeaters were released at Tomalpin on Wonnarua Country on land owned by Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Land Council. Birds are still present and are being monitored to this day. The releases are coordinated by the Department of Planning & Environment, BirdLife Australia and Taronga Conservation Society Australia.
The images on this page show two of our released birds – “Red Red” and “White White”, names which correspond to their colour bands, as each bird has a unique colour band combination.
This video shows a story we had aired on The Project last year – it highlights the conservation battle over Tomalpin.
For more details about the monitoring program, check out our Community Updates.
- 2022 NSW Regent Honeyeater Captive Release – Community Update #1 – 25 November 2022
- 2022 NSW Regent Honeyeater Captive Release – Community Update #2 – 9 December 2022
And if you’re lucky enough to have spotted one, please report Regent Honeyeater sightings ASAP to email@example.com
In the News:
- Birdlife Australia working with Aboriginal land council to return mistletoe to burnt woodlands – ABC News 23 December 2022
- Regent honeyeaters released in the Hunter Valley as efforts to save species continue – ABC News 1 December 2022
- Regent honeyeater facing extinction unless more is done to protect nests and habitat – Newcastle Herald 31 March 2022
- Regent Honeyeater species profile – BirdLife Australia
- Regent Honeyeater Release – BirdLife Australia
- Our laws need to work for nature – BirdLife Australia