The story of the Paradise parrot – the only mainland Australian bird marked ‘extinct’

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Conservationists could make a case for saving a gorgeous bird but preserving its prosaic habitat was, in the 1920s and 30s, a bridge too far

Few but the most dedicated ornithologist will know anything about Australia’s Paradise parrot.

That is because it has the dubious distinction of being the only mainland Australian bird marked “extinct” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Its premature vanishment almost a century ago, meanwhile, remains prescient today when it comes to how best to protect other threatened Australian avian species.

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