Researchers fight to save dying parrot

A Swift Parrot.
A Swift Parrot.

WILDLIFE scientists are fighting to save a critically endangered species of parrot which migrates from Tasmania to the Riverina every winter. 

It is estimated just 2000 Swift Parrots remain in the wild, with five per cent of their population living in Temora. 

The bird, which is only just bigger than a budgerigar, could be rendered extinct within 15 years if environmentalists fail to intervene. 

A group of Riverina researchers have devised a plan to protect the parrot from dying out. 

“We maintain the habitat on the mainland so that the birds have enough energy to fatten up and return to their breeding grounds,” Dr Debra Saunders said.

“We’re tagging them, keeping track of where they’re going and helping them be more efficient. 

Experts are incorporating the use of drone technology to sight and track the rare birds as they pass through the region. 

They are susceptible to habitat loss, reduced food availability, predation by cats and illegal capture. 

Lorikeet breeder Harley Redmond said the birds had a long history of being captured and sold due to their exotic colours and unique sounds. “Unfortunately they were targeted because of their beauty,” she said. 

Unfortunately they were targeted because of their beauty.

Harley Redmond


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