News - 09 May 2019

Swift Parrot (NSW/Tas/Vic)

Photo: Chris Tzaros

Lathamus discolor

Conservation status: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED (EPBC Act)

Uplisted since RFAs commenced? YES, in 2015

EPBC Act recovery plan? YES; 2011—under review in 2019


Swift Parrot is a priority species under the national Threatened Species Strategy. The 2011 national recovery plan for the Swift Parrot proposes the retention of all trees over 60cm diameter. This was never implemented and the recommendation has been removed from the new draft recovery plan released in early 2019. In June 2019, an important habitat for Swift Parrots, forests and woodlands dominated by Black Gum (Eucalyptus ovata) was EPBC-listed as a Critically Endangered ecological community.

The major threats to the survival of the Swift Parrot are the ongoing loss of breeding and foraging habitat in Tasmania through forestry [logging] operations and land clearing, and predation by Sugar Gliders of nestlings and sitting females… Forestry operations and conversion of native forest to tree plantations over the past 30 years has reduced the amount of available Swift Parrot nesting and foraging habitat… Recent estimates of clearing in the identified Southern Forests Swift Parrot Important Breeding Area in Tasmania suggests that between 1997 and 2016 approximately 33% of all eucalypt forest was lost through conversion of native forest to plantation or disturbed through native forest harvesting, and 23% of the identified old growth forest was lost (Webb et al. 2018). As nesting hollows generally only occur in trees older than about 100 years of age, and larger trees have proportionally more nectar and food resources, the ongoing logging of breeding habitat remains a threat to the species’ persistence in the wild… Logging of foraging habitat on the Australian mainland also remains a threat. The extent of forest loss over Swift Parrot foraging habitat on the mainland has not been quantified and the impacts from commercial logging operations on the mainland remain uncertain.”
Source: National Recovery Plan for the Swift Parrot

Map 1: Sample of planned logging areas 2019-2020 likely to impact this species (NSW)
Map 2: Sample of planned logging areas 2019-2020 likely to impact this species (Tas)
Map 3: Swift Parrot distribution (breeding areas in red), Draft Recovery Plan (Commonwealth, 2019)

Full logging plan maps: NSW; Tas

Next: Leadbeater’s Possum (Vic)

Our forest wildlife in crisis: the Leadbeater's Possum is #7 of 20 Australian mammals most at risk of extinction.