Operation OBP

AU$140978of AU$60000
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Hi Everybody!

apologies for the delay in getting back to you with an update, but it's been a very busy field season.

Since we last wrote, we have implemented Operation OBP, and kicked some major goals.

To summarise the field season:

We raised >140K for operation OBP and thanks to those funds, we immediately went into the field to start work. We spent the summer monitoring the nests of all OBPs at their breeding grounds at Melaleuca, checking their nests roughly every third day to monitor progress. To address the terribly male biased sex ratio of OBPs (remember only 3 wild females returned to breed this year), our collaborators at the Tasmanian Government released a group of captive bred female parrots at the start of the breeding season. This move gave more of the remaining wild male OBPs a chance to breed, and by the end of the breeding season we had monitored 16 nesting attempts. Over all, 20 OBPs were bred in the wild this year. Importantly though, thanks to your support, we were able to implement our fostering trial successfully, and one of those nestlings was the result of our trial. 'Matilda' was transferred by helicopter from the Tas Gvt breeding facility in Hobart to her new home on Jan 15th, and she was accepted and raised by her new parents before fledging in Feb (video here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5rd19o8ocwzjzby/matilda%20fledges-%20short.m4v?dl=0) . It was a major achievement and has opened up important new management options for the OBP. You can see a fuller version of the story (including photos) here:


Now that the season is over, we are wrapping up processing of the rewards from the campaign. Many of you will have already received your rewards, but for those that haven't, we thank you for your patience- they're on the way.

If you want more updates on Operation OBP you can search for updates on Twitter using #operationobp, or check out the Team Swift Parrot Facebook page. To learn more about our work, visit our website www.difficultbirds.com - we are working to set up a donations portal on that page so you'll be able to continue providing support if you like the work we are doing.

Thanks again for making Operation OBP such a success.


Hi everyone! I'm back on board. I got married over the weekend, so thats why nothing was updated and everything was left unanswered. Thanks to Dave and Carla for such great photos! (http://societyphotography.com.au/


Hi everyone! We've updated thrice! THREE TIMES! Be sure to read the updates!

I just thought it'd be nice to give a shout-out to some of the major contributors who have donated over $1000 in a single donation. 

In no particular order: 


-Mark Carter Alice Springs Birding and Wildlife Twitter: @birdingandwild

-Save the OBP facebook page. The volunteer run facebook page has raise a huge amount of money through the sale of t-shirts and pins! Thanks so much Debbie and all the supporters. Twitter: @neophema99

-Bruny Island Environment Network http://www.bien.org.au/ 

- Zoos Victoria

-Bellbird Tours http://www.bellbirdtours.com/ facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bellbirdtours twitter: @birdstours

And I'd also like to make mention of the businesses who have generously donated time, money and resources to this and other DBRG projects. In no particular order:

Par Avion twitter: @paraviontas facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paraviontas/

Inala Nature Tours facebook: https://www.facebook.com/inalanaturetours

Bruny Island Cheese Company twitter:  @BRUNYCHEESE facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrunyIslandCheese

Hotel Bruny facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hotelbruny/ Twitter: @HotelBruny 

Bruny Isand Honey facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brunyislandhoney/

Tasmanian writer and photographer Paul Fleming http://www.pauldfleming.com/

Cartoonist/National Treasure Firstdogonthemoon https://firstdogonthemoon.com.au/shop/ twitter: @firstdogonmoon

Artist, author and cartoonist Jon Kudelka https://www.kudelka.com.au/ twitter: @jonkudelka

Artist and cartoonist David Pope http://www.scratch.com.au/ twitter: @davpope

Leila Jeffreys and the Olsen gallery

Mark Holdsworth. Forest Hill Bird Tours (webpage forthcoming) Twitter @neophema1

I'll add more when I think of them! Thanks! And sorry if I missed you!


Hi everyone! I, the rest of the team, and even the pozible website have been completely overwhelmed with the groundswell of support we've recieved. We've just added an update to the update page, complete with photos and news from the OBPs at Melaleuca. 

Be sure to check out the update!

Thanks everyone!

--------------------------------- Almost double! Bring on 200%-------------------------------------


Amazing support, we reached the target last night at around 10:30. That's the full $60,000 in about a day and a half. We're not stopping there: we're reaching for the sky and trying to get the monitoring for 2017 funded so we can plan ahead knowing we can afford it. 

I've just added an update (click the "updates" button above). I'll be adding some more amazing rewards today, as well as a few other things to the page. Please read our update. 

DBRG (www.difficultbirds.com). 

-------------------------------------------Thanks everyone, you're amazing!-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi everyone! It's TeamSwiftParrot from ANU again, all the way from Tasmania with an urgent plea for assistance. 

Since we were last in touch a lot has happened. To hear about our great success using nest boxes built with funds raised from our last Pozible campaign, visit the ABC Catalyst website here and here. We've also had a name change to reflect the breadth of our study species: we're now the Difficult Bird Research Group!

We're coming to you again for help with an emergency.

The orange-bellied parrot (OBP) is the most endangered bird in Australia. OBPs have been in trouble for decades. Each year conservation scientists anxiously wait for the arrival in Tasmania of migrating OBPs to see how many have survived their winter migration to the Australian mainland. This year the news is bad - only three female and 11 male OBPs survived.

Although some action has already been taken (captive-bred female OBPs have been released), the low number of wild birds is at crisis level, and emergency intervention is required. This is where you come in.

We need your help to raise enough money quickly so we can act fast to try and prevent extinction of the OBP in the next year. We will use the funds we raise to implement an emergency intervention plan for OBPs, which we hope will increase the number of birds that breed in wild nests the 2016/2017 season.

                                                                            Above: orange-bellied parrot chicks

Our goal is simple: to ensure as many OBP nestlings as possible are bred in wild nests in the 2016/2017 season.

The last three pairs of OBPs have already started searching for nests, so we need urgent funding to get on the ground next week to start work. 

We will use your funds to help us get out to the remote location where OBPs breed (in the southwest WIlderness World Heritage Area in Tasmania). Your funds will help us get people with the right skills on the ground next week, starting work to find OBP nests and intervene to help them if something goes wrong. 

We need critical equipment like field incubators (for eggs in need of help), brooders (for babies that need help), and we will have access to some captive bred OBPs to try an ambitious cross-fostering attempt to help build up the number of wild bred female parrots produced this year.

This type of intensive intervention has never been undertaken for the OBP. The resources necessary to pull off an ambitious project like this are substantial, but also time critical. We need your help to mobilise enough funds quickly enough for us to act NOW, before we miss the narrow time window of the 2016/2017 breeding season.

Unfortunately there are no guarantees this project will work, but we have to try everything possible while we still can to save the OBP. We have the expertise and people needed to make this happen, but we desperately need your help to be able to cover the substantial cost of working in the challenging and remote location where OBPs breed.

This project is a collaboration with a number of partners working towards rescuing the OBP. We are especially grateful to the Friends of the OBP (Wildcare Inc.). This project is being undertaken in collaboration with the Tasmanian Government, with support from the National OBP Recovery Team and Commonwealth. 

We thank you in advance for your support.

How The Funds Will Be Used

We calculate that it'll cost roughly $58.90 per day to monitor a single chick to fledging (between 45-55 days), as well as cross-fostering for eggs and chicks where required. That covers the costs of getting the right people, flights in and out of Melaleuca, equipment (climbing and scientific) as well as other field expenses.

The breakdown of costs is as follows. 

Flights to and from Melaleuca: $15,530

Ecologist/keepers: $38,880

Equipment: $5590 

We have a maximum of two weeks before the time window closes for us to act. The timeframe required to secure funding from traditional sources is far too long to allow us to act swiftly. Your contribution will secure action as soon as possible, hopefully before it's too late.


The Challenges

OBPs are already at Melaleuca and have started looking for nesting boxes- we expect the first eggs to be laid mid way through this campaign. 

The main challenge we face is the tiny population size of the OBP and the critical need to get the timing right. If we are too late or too early to implement an intervention, it won't work. Techniques like cross fostering require synchronisation of multiple nests across different stages of the breeding cycle. Unfortunately, with the tiny population remaining, there is very little margin for error in timing. We will try everything in our power to make this project a success, but the reality is that when you're dealing with only 3 remaining females, there are no guarantees.

We're racing against the clock to try and get this species through another year. If this program succeeds, it will pave the way for a scaled up version in next year which will enable us to apply new techniques to get this bird back in the game.

on 28th Nov 2016 at 4:00am. The payment portal is closed now.
AU$5 +NO REWARDNo reward, you just want to contribute! We'd love for you to do that! You are able increase the amount you'd like to contribute- that'd be awesome!
5 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is November 2016
AU$25 +Henry's picsTeamswiftparrot member Henry Cook is also quite a decent wildlife photographer. This prize is some decent resolution digital images (about 20 or so) from anywhere south of about 32 degrees (around Hobart). An orange-bellied parrot will be included so you can show people how beautiful they are. These images will be supplied via a drop-box link that will be emailed after the pozible closes.
520 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is November 2016
AU$25 +All GoneBRUNY ISLAND HONEYBruny Island Honey has generously donated some honey! This reward is a 50gram jam of honey straight from Bruny Island!
40 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is November 2016
AU$50 +All Gone$50 vouchers for Hotel Bruny$50 vouchers for Hotel Bruny on Bruny Island. The food here is always unbelievable and it's a really lovely place to sit back and enjoy a glass of wine. On a personal note- this place has been a sanctuary- when I'd been surveying all day, wet and cold with the prospect of camping in the immediate future, the seafood chowder and open fire was like the most wonderful warm hug. http://www.hotelbruny.com/
10 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is November 2016
AU$50 +All GonePAUSE: a Collection of Tasmanian MomentsPaul Fleming has generously donated 20 copies of his book. Pause: a collection of Tasmanian moments is a collection of his magnificent photography with some of his original prose. Bob Brown has contributed to the forward. How fantastic! Thanks Paul! You can check out Paul's stuff at www.pauldfleming.com
20 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is December 2016
AU$50 +All GoneGet Shucked Oysters VouchersGet Shucked Oysters have come on board to rescue the OBP! They're giving us 10 vouchers for $50 each to taste their amazing oysters grown in the pure waters of Great Bay, Bruny Island! These oysters will actually change your life, and you can soak up the amazing view from their beautiful spot on the bay shore!
10 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2017
AU$55 +Festive OBP = One day of monitoring$55 will pay for the cost of a day's monitoring of a nestling for the three month period staff will be on-site. In return we'll send you (or a chosen recipient) a postcard with a festive orange-bellied parrot from one of the team. What a fantastic Christmas gift! Note: Image is indicative - it may not look exactly like this.
248 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is December 2016
AU$75 +All GoneTote bagLeftover David Pope designed tote bags from the previous pozible campaign. We used a lot of them as nestling transports up and down trees. I have 10 left.
10 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is November 2016
AU$75 +OBP hero image print, signed by the DBRG teamA high-quality print of the OBP hero image, signed by the photographer (Henry Cook) as well as the rest of the Difficult Bird Research Group team (www.difficultbirds.com) I have to get married and go on a honeymoon before Christmas, so I can't see this being sent before march.
78 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is March 2017
AU$95 +PRINT: FirstDogonthemoon cartoonPrint from famed Guardian cartoonist, FirstDogonthemoon. I only asked him about doing this yesterday and he was a very good sport and said yes. I'm sure it'll be related to orange-bellied parrots. As soon as it's done I'll update the main page.
190 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is January 2017
AU$100 +All GoneCHEESE HAMPER from Bruny Island CheeseBruny Island Cheese Company have generously donated ten cheese hampers (valued at $100). These cheese hampers are fantastic, I've been the recipient of one of them before and it was very gratefully received. This is the perfect opportunity to indulge in two of the great things in life: eating cheese and endangered bird conservation. https://brunyislandcheese.com.au/
10 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is December 2016
AU$100 +OBP Eggpicnic toteThis super schmick design has been put together by Eggpicnic.com for our campaign- the bags themselves are super robust and will look very fancy on your shoulder in the shops! They're limited though so hurry and grab one before they sell out!
26 Chosen | 24 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2017
AU$120 +OPERATION OBP t-shirtI didn't think I had time to do a t-shirt, but if everyone is patient I can send it through by March. David Pope has kindly (and at very short notice) augmented the Orange-bellied Parrot from the Hollow Wars cartoon and we're screen-printing him onto a black t-shirt. I should mention that the first 10 shirts that are sold will get an extra Hollow Wars shirt FOR FREE. They won't be able to pick sizes though :-)
69 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is March 2017
AU$150 +OBP artwork by Jon KudelkaReknowned Tasmanian cartoonist, artist and whisky scientist Jon Kudelka has very generously done a beautiful OBP portrait for us to print and offer as a reward. Stunning!
29 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is November 2016
AU$200 +All GoneSigned OBP photo by Bob BrownAs well as fighting to save Australia from itself, Bob Brown is also a keen wildlife photographer. The reward is a signed copy of one of Bob's OBP photos (see attached).
10 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is February 2017
AU$250 +All GoneSigned print of Melaleuca Rainbow by Bob Brown.Due to the speed in which the last Bob Brown print was snapped up, we're offering another image, a stunning shot by Bob Brown of a complete rainbow in Melaleuca. Print is on high-quality paper and is signed by Bob. We are limiting this reward to a maximum of 25 so don't delay.
20 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2017
AU$450 +All GoneOvernight stay in Inala Cottage on South Bruny.Inala has generously donate three overnight stays for up to six people at Inala cottage, with access to the incredible Inala reserve. Get up close and personal with an endangered Forty-spotted Pardalote or get eye to eye with a Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle in one of the hides. Amazing wildlife watching possibilities! Check out some of the pics below http://www.inalanaturetours.com.au/bruny-island
3 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is November 2016
AU$2200 +WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE with FIRSTDOG AND MARKSeats for two people (total available: 6) for the Melaleuca Wilderness Experience, accompanied by naturalist and OBP expert Mark Holdsworth and reknowned cartoonist, marsupialist and national treasure Firstdogonthemoon. Head down to the south-west and have an incredibly unique experience with Mark and Firstdog. Trip is likely to leave in January so punters will be able to see some OBP happily raising chicks. http://paravion.com.au/flights/south-west-tasmania/a-day-in-the-wilderness-tour/
0 Chosen | 3 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2017
AU$2800 +All GoneSouthwest wilderness campPar Avion Wilderness Tours invites you to stay for three days and explore the remote south west wilderness. You will be accommodated at their luxury private camp, located in the forest, on the shores of Bathurst Harbour. This camp has no walking tracks to access and is completely exclusive to our clients.
1 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2017
AU$3000 +All GonePar Avion Wilderness Experience (with Mark!)Par Avion and Inala Nature Tours have donated an incredible package for two people, guided by the incomparable Mark Holdsworth. A link to the trip is here: http://paravion.com.au/flights/south-west-tasmania/a-day-in-the-wilderness-tour/ Mark Holdsworth is the world authority on orange-bellied parrots and has worked extensively in the SW Wilderness area of Tasmania for decades. He'll show you around the project area and introduce you to the team working to save the OBP.
1 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2017
AU$3500 +Orange-bellied parrot limited edition artworkPhotographic artist Leila Jeffreys and the Olsen Gallery have generously donated one of her artworks. This is the very desirable first edition (1 of 14) of this work to be made available and will be limited to a maximum of 14. Title: ‘Blue’ Orange-bellied Parrot Series: The People in Parrots Medium: Fine art inkjet print on cotton rag archival paper Size: 112cm x 140cm Edition: 14 If you are interested in this reward please contact us to discuss shipping arrangements.
0 Chosen | 1 AvailableEst. delivery is February 2017