As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday 23 December 2018

Drones deployed to track Critically Endangered Australian parrot

A new study has demonstrated how the use of robotics can become a key tool in the conservation of threatened species.
Swift Parrot is one of Australia's most threatened birds and is in need of urgent help, with BirdLife International estimating a total wild population of between 1,000 and 3,000 individuals. It breeds in Tasmania, migrating to south-east Australia for the austral winter, where it can be found sporadically from New South Wales west to Adelaide.
In 2010, Loro Parque Fundación started funding crucial field research by scientists of the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University (ANU), triggered by the accelerating decline of the wild population, which has been classified as Critically Endangered since 2015.
What they discovered was alarming. They found that Swift Parrots prefer to nest in cavities with specific characteristics, and that only 5.2 per cent of available tree hollows were suitable in the Tasmanian forests. Worse still, they detected a high level of nocturnal predation on the contents of Swift Parrot nests, including adult females, by Sugar Gliders, a mammal species introduced to Tasmania from mainland Australia.

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