New Collaboration: Tracking Endangered Parrots in Tasmania
Updated: Jul 23, 2020
I've recently started collaborating on a fantastic project looking at the foraging behaviour and nesting success of endangered swift parrots (Lathamus discolor) in Tasmania. My good friends and colleagues Dejan Stojanovic and Matthew Webb at ANU have been studying these beautiful and vulnerable birds for years and have recently deployed GPS tags on a select few of them as well as painstakinly gathering data on flowering trees and nestling success. I'm pitching in to help out with some of the analysis of the GPS data looking into the relationships between foraging intensity and the flowering status of local trees. Swift parrots breed in Tasmania and migrate to the Australian mainland every year. They feed on ephemeral blooms of eucalyptus trees which are highly variable in their spatial arrangement in the landscape. Recently Dejan and Matt discovered that these cavity nesting birds were not only under threat from loss of old growth trees but are also being predated by cute and flufffy sugar gliders!
A paper on their foraging movements is in the works and should be out there soon.