Today, 24 captive parrots were released to bolster their dwindling counterparts, but their success isn't a certainty.
Although the released birds were selected based on their genetic variety and fitness, conservationists say that their success outside of captivity will depend in large part on acquiring skills from the few birds remaining in the wild -- a lineage of knowledge now possessed by just over a dozen parrots.
"The wild birds know the area, know how to behave as wild birds and can teach the captive birds how to forage, how to avoid predators and then make the migration back to the mainland," says keeper Jocelyn Hockley.
"What we're expecting to see is the wild birds go 'oh look a couple more have turned up. We're going to hang out with them and we're going to show them what to do.'"
It will take a year before it is known whether the captive birds have integrated well enough to produce offspring -- though time is short. Unless current trends are curbed, orange-bellied parrots are predicted to be extinct in the wild within four years.