This article was originally published at The Conversation. The publication contributed the article to LiveScience's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.
If you had to ask an average Australian the name of a threatened bird in this country, many would nominate the Orange-bellied Parrot. Critically endangered, and with fewer than 50 left in the wild, it is justifiably one of Australia’s most well-known endangered species.
Poor little creature. Every year the last birds remaining in the wild leave their breeding grounds at Melaleuca in the remote south-west wilderness of Tasmania to fly to the saltmarshes along the coastline of Victoria and South Australia. And each year hundreds of volunteers go out to count the birds and see how they are faring.