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Tasmania’s swift parrot can go extinct in 16 years.

a female swift parrot. Credit: Dejan Stojanovic (sciencedaily.com)

Within next 16 years, the iconic Tasmanian swift parrot is facing population collapse and could become extinct new research has found. Swift parrots are major pollinators of blue and black gum trees which are crucial to the forestry industry, which controversially continues to log swift parrot habitat.

Swift Parrot:

  • The swift parrot (Lathamus discolor) breeds in Tasmania and migrates north to south eastern Australia from Griffith-Warialda in New-South Wales and west to Adelaide in the winter.
  • It is the only member in the genus Lathamus.
  • The swift parrot is endangered with only about 1000 pairs remaining in the wild.

Current Report:

  • The five-year study discovered that swift parrots move between different areas of Tasmania each year to breed, depending on where food is available.
  • Swift parrots are major pollinators of blue and black gum trees which are crucial to the forestry industry, which controversially continues to log swift parrot habitat.
  • The new data was combined with a previous study that showed that swift parrots are preyed on heavily by sugar gliders, especially in deforested areas.
  • The research predicted that the population of the birds will halve every four years, with a possible decline of 94.7 per cent over 16 years.
  • Professor Robert Heinsohn, from The Australian National University (ANU), stated the species of swift parrot are in far worse trouble than anybody would have previously thought.
  • Professor Heinsohn from the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society, further added that, if swift parrot go extinct everyone, including foresters, environmentalists and members of the public will be severely affected.

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