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In issue 309 -
When an Older Parrot Has Never Learned Skilful Flight – Complete Psittacine by Eb Cravens
In issue 309 -
Scarlet Macaws – were they really bred by indigenous people in the 12th century? Rosemary Low asks the question
In issue 309 -
Understanding the link between nutrition, hormonal behaviours and the avian endocrine system, Part 1 – The Holistic Parrot by Leslie Moran
In issue 309 -
The Yellow-eared Parrot – continues to expand its range in Colombia. By David Waugh, Correspondent, Loro Parque Fundación
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 The October 2023 edition of Parrots magazine (issue 309) will be available to download from 13th September via a link which will be emailed to subscribers. Single copies will be available from our online shop. You can save money by subscribing – find out more here.

Helping the Swift Parrot

Spreads for web 4

By David Waugh

Recognising that the wild population of the migratory Australian Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) was in free-fall, in 2010 the Loro Parque Fundación began supporting a vital research initiative to unearth the principal threats and to devise effective measures to combat them. Since then, a cooperative effort of several in-country institutions has been led by Professor Robert Heinsohn of the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University.

The research includes the ecology of the species in the south-east of mainland Australia during the Austral winter non-breeding season, and in Tasmania where core team member, Dr Dejan Stojanovic, and colleagues have been studying the parrots during their breeding season in the Eucalyptus-dominated forests. The remarkable detective work of the researchers is revealed in several recent publications, and surely nobody back in 2010 could have predicted all the twists and turns in the life of this little parrot.

At the inception of the research, the Swift Parrot was already in the ‘Endangered’ category of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, but the researchers found the population decline so rapid that the species was soon up-listed to ‘Critically Endangered’, with a maximum total of 2,500 individuals, and possibly as few as 1,000. The most immediate serious threat was found to be the nocturnal predation of nest-contents, including adult females, by Sugar Gliders (Petaurus breviceps) introduced on mainland Tasmania – not the smaller satellite islands.

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