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The Fig-parrots are a small, predominantly green, stocky parrot that, as their name suggests, mainly eat figs. The Coxen’s Fig-parrot is found in south-east Queensland and north-east New South Wales. Over the past two decades targeted surveys have recorded very few birds, however members of the public continue to report incidental sightings.
Estimates suggest that only 100 mature Coxen’s Fig-parrot remain in the wild. The threat of greatest concern to the Coxen’s Fig-parrot is habitat destruction and degradation, however disease and stochastic events such as drought may also play a role in the species’ decline.
Due to the elusive nature of the Coxen’s Fig-parrot the in-situ conservation work for this species is focused on locating individuals within their known habitat using acoustic monitoring equipment. The recovery team is currently focused on developing audio recognition software to analyse the acoustic data for the call of the Coxen’s Fig-parrot. This software will enable the Recovery Team to identify Coxen’s Fig-parrot localities. Coxen’s Fig-parrot sightings are still being reported in the region and these sightings help to identify the focal areas for the acoustic monitoring.
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Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has been a member of the Coxen’s Fig-parrot Recovery Team since it was formed in 1993.The establishment of an ex-situ program has been recommended in all three published recovery plans for the Coxen’s Fig-parrot, however due to the scarcity and sporadic nature of Coxen’s Fig-parrot sightings, the establishment of an ex-situ program for this species has not yet been possible.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has established husbandry and breeding methodology for the closely related species, the Macleay’s Fig-parrot, which has formed the guidelines for ex-situ husbandry of the Coxen’s Fig-parrot. In addition, a number of breeding pairs of the Macleay’s Fig-parrot are maintained at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary to act as surrogate parents for Coxen’s Fig-parrot eggs should the need arise.