Zoos Victoria – Predator Avoidance
In the process of saving the Helmeted Honeyeater from extinction, Zoos Victoria was faced with a hard reality. Captive breeding and release efforts were only serving to save the species from extinction, recovery was beyond their reach.
Particularly concerning was of the birds released to the wild, only 41% survived with predation from raptors thought to be the leading cause.
With every Helmeted Honeyeater bred at Healesville Sanctuary critical for the species survival, keepers designed a predator avoidance program to train birds to react to dangers. Since the first graduates were released, survival rate of captive bred birds has increased to 85% and the wild population has grown to 150 birds.