Friday, May 20, 2005

Counting Swift Parrots & Regent Honeyeaters

A NATIONAL survey over the weekend will be conducted again in August and the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) is looking for volunteers to help count the highly endangered Swift Parrot and Regent Honeyeater.

Posted by Hello

The Regent Honeyeater has yellow tail and wing feathers spattered with black and a specvkled black to white yellow breast and some yellow around the eye.

The survey goes along the NSW coast as well as the State's western slopes from Queensland to the Victorian border.

It has been timed to coincide with the autumn migration to the mainland following summer breeding in Tasmania.

National coordinator, Debbie Saunders, said the survey aims to monitor the populations and habitats of the birds.

"Over the past decade the total population of the Swift Parrot has plummeted by some 30% to around 2,500 individual birds," she said.

"This is a frighteningly big drop over such a short period of time. The main reasons for their decline appears to be loss of the bird's breeding habitat in Tasmania and foraging habitat on the mainland.

"The biology and requirements of the Swift Parrot are reasonably well understood for Tasmania, but much less so on the mainland. These surveys will help us to develop a better picture of what kinds of habitat are important for the long-term survival of these species and enable more focused conservation efforts in these areas.

The nationwide survey runs again on the weekend of August 6-7 but any additional records are always welcome.

People who are interested in becoming involved in these bi-annual bird surveys as a volunteer or who have property with suitable habitat containing winter flowering tree species, are invited to contact Debbie Saunders (Swift Parrot recovery coordinator) on 02 6298 9733 or David Geering (Regent Honeyeater recovery coordinator) on 02 6883 5335.

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