One of the most endangered species of parrot in the world has come to Newquay Zoo.

A pair of swift parrots has arrived – and there are more on the way.

The charity zoo is working with a number of other zoos in the UK to set up a breeding programme in a bid to save this beautiful bird.

The young pair, from Tilgate Nature Centre, will be joined by several more swift parrots in the coming weeks. The breeding programme, which is being set up by Newquay Zoo, Edinburgh Zoo, Drayton Manor and Tilgate Nature Centre, will research and work to conserve this species.

Newquay Zoo Curator of Animals John Meek said: “We are really excited to introduce swift parrots to the collection. We are hoping that by working together with other zoos we can learn more about these birds and begin to play our part in the conservation of this magnificent species.”

Swift parrots come from south-eastern Australia and are now classified as Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List. The population is falling at an alarming rate as a result of habitat loss and predatory sugar gliders – small, nocturnal possums - who kill many female swift parrots and their young each year. Researchers have estimated that if the population continues to decline then they could face extinction by 2031.

John Meek: “Breeding season for swift parrots is throughout spring and summer, so we will make sure we provide them with the materials they need to build a nest and with a bit of luck we can help to increase the zoo population.”

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