Riverland community banding together for iconic bird

Posted 20 September 2021.

This spring, the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board, together with National Parks and Wildlife Service SA and the community based Regent Parrot Recovery Team, will be supporting Mid Murray Landcare SA to deliver a census of nesting regent parrots. The census will take place along the River Murray from Swan Reach to the South Australian–Victorian border.

The Mid Murray Landcare SA, community based Regent Parrot Recovery Team, National Parks and Wildlife Service SA and volunteers working on this project are supported by the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program, the landscape levies and the Murray-Darling Healthy Rivers Program. 

The Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board’s Threatened Fauna Ecologist, Melissa Burford said this survey is timely as September is Biodiversity month which seeks to raise awareness of plants and animals at risk of extinction, such as the regent parrot, which is found nowhere else in the world.

“Biodiversity month is when we try to highlight our native plants, animals, and ecosystems that are under threat and reflect on how we can protect them into the future,” she said.

“A river census survey from Swan Reach to the South Australian–Victorian border has not occurred since 2011.

“Data from this census survey will help direct and focus on-ground recovery actions, including prioritisation of field works for future environmental watering programs. 

“The data will also provide valuable information on locations to distribute specific native food plants to keen landholders to plant for the regent parrots. This will create supplementary food banks to help protect known nesting sites for the threatened birds. 

“The most recent nest survey data has shown that the regent parrot population in South Australia is declining. This work allows us to understand what is important to them in the landscape and use this information to reverse the decline. 

“The previous global positioning system survey work provided information about how the regent parrot moves through the landscape. It showed what foods they eat, how far they travel from their nest hollow to collect food and their movements in the non-breeding season. 

“This current census survey will add to the data we have already collected and provide critical information about the status of the population to help prioritise on-ground recovery actions.  


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