Wild populations of the Regent Honeyeater (Anthochaera phrygia) have declined mainly due to the clearing and fragmentation of woodland and forest containing its preferred Eucalyptus species. Long term recovery of the species requires a landscape approach to conservation involving the retention of ‘key’ eucalypt species; an increase in the area and health of box-ironbark communities through improved management. The primary objective of the breeding program is the provision of an insurance population for posterior release back into the wild. In the last few years the program has achieved encouraging results. Currently seven zoo-bred released honeyeaters have been observed up to two years post release, with one bird observed 700km from the release site.
Taronga is a key player in the regional program for the species, researching the viability of conservation efforts aimed at facilitating the long term recovery of the Regent Honeyeater and its habitat. The ongoing success of released zoo-bred birds and of the program in general is reflected in the expanding annual goals of the program which are established by the Recovery Team.