Many died while being caught and many more died during transport or did not survive adaptation to their new living environments. There are estimates that for every bird that survived the first year of captivity, 300 died. From 1960 the export of the bird from Australia was prohibited, but it is still under threat.
Here in the aviary at the Lilawadee they do very well, thanks in part due to the excellent accommodation with a uniform temperature and high humidity. As in their homeland, where they breed in small colonies, here they are kept as a small flock of around 15 birds.
The Gouldamadine breed easily and the males start at a young age to practice the courtship song. It is wonderful to see that the call of the courting male is frequently answered by nest calls from the hen. The new generation begs its parents loudly for food and they are still fed long after taking flight.
The lizards, who always manage to enter the cage, are undaunted and greedy and apparently have put the eggs of the bird at the top of their menu. They will even eat a young bird. When we capture lizards, "Tingtkha” in Thai, they are taken to the adjacent forest, but they seem to find their way back “home” the next day. Now they are taken to a spot a few kilometers away but their offspring seems to return later....