S.O.S. Swift parrot [Lathamus discolor]

As we announced on this blog in 2014: the swift parrot [Lathamus discolor] is an endangered parrot. And unfortunately the situation has not improved over the years and this species is now classified as ‘critically endangered’, which is very alarming.

The swift parrot [Lathamus discolor], breeds on Tasmania and the surrounding islands from September. After the breeding season, around March, they returns overseas to the south-east of the Australian continent. There they hibernate.

Unfortunately, the natural habitat of this swift parrot is threatened by the felling of trees for the timber trade and the agriculture of the eucalyptus trees. There fore this bird has been protected since 1970. In 1988 their number was still estimated at 1500 breeding pairs and in 1996 around 1000 and now an article in Animal conservation [1] suggests that the minimum potential contemporary population size is below 300 individual swift parrots.

Maybe it is time for aviculture to try to maintain the pure-bred wild type?

[1]          G. Olah, D. Stojanovic, M. H. Webb, R. S. Waples, en R. Heinsohn, ‘Comparison of three techniques for genetic estimation of effective population size in a critically endangered parrot’, Anim. Conserv., p. acv.12655, dec. 2020, doi: 10.1111/acv.12655.