Australian Swift Parrot classified as critically endangered

May 16th, 2016 | by LubosTomiska
Australian Swift Parrot classified as critically endangered
Conservation projects


After six months of negotiating, IUCN moved the Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) to category „critically endangered“. According to research of Dr. Dejan Stojanovic and his team, this species may extinct in the next sixteen years. Despite negative prognosis, everybody hopes that the fastest parrot of the world will survive. The new IUCN Red List classification enables better protection of this species on Tasmania island.

“The reclassification is a major milestone for swift parrots and highlights the importance of finding a solution to the extreme effects of sugar glider predation, and of protecting their habitat,” Dr Stojanovic said for Science Daily.


Sugar glider is the most dangerous threat

Sugar gliders represent an important threat for the Swift Parrot as they destroy more than 80% of parrot nests.

“The next goal for our research group is to figure out what needs to happen to turn the swift parrot trajectory around, because they are only one step from extinction,” Stojanovic said. According to the latest research of ANU (Australian National University), the wild population is reduced on its half every fourth year. Therefore, in 2030 researchers assume that 94,7% of Swift Parrots will be gone. Today, there are about 2 000 individuals living in the wild.

It has been suggested that loss of the Swift Parrot would affect ecosystem of Tasmania as these birds are important pollinators of Eucalyptus trees. “Swift parrots are major pollinators of blue and black gum trees which are crucial to the Tasmanian environment and economy including forestry and tourism,” Professor Heinsohn from ANU said. “We congratulate the Commonwealth for listening to the scientific evidence, and giving swift parrots a fighting chance,” he added.



Foresters stop tree logging on Bruny Island

Tasmanian senator Nick McKim asked local government to stop deforestation, especially in southern part of the island. Therefore tree logging was stopped but just temporary. Environmental activists would like to stop it definitely. Forestry minister Peter Gutwein agrees to protect the Swift parrot from the extinction. However, he refuses to stop deforestation absolutely.

“Logging has been halted on Bruny Island because it is one of a number of offshore islands where sugar gliders haven’t been able to threaten swift parrot numbers and their habitat,” Mr Gutwein said for ABC News.

In captivity, the Swift Parrot is quite common species. In Europe, it is often being offered at the birdmarkets for price about 60 euro each. Illegal trade does not affect the wild population and therefore this species is not listed at CITES I.


Title photo: (c) JJ Harrison. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


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