New campaign to save native birds from extinction in Tasmania

New campaign to save native birds from extinction in Tasmania

Activists have launched an international campaign aimed at saving three native bird species at risk of extinction in Tasmania.

The campaign will look to protect swift parrot, forty-spotted pardalote and orange-bellied parrot. All these birds are native to Australia and are under threat from predatory sugar gliders.The swift parrot breeds in Tasmania during spring and summer and migrate to south-eastern Australia during winter months but many do not survive to make the journey.

Researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) said that the presence of sugar gliders has affected the population of swift parrot breeds in the area. According to experts, the colourful swift parrot might be extinct during the next 16 years.

Robert Heinsohn, a conservation biologist at the ANU said, "They are able to get into the nest hollows of the swift parrots and the other hollow nesting birds. They get in there and they just wreak havoc and destruction.They're killing about half of the female swift parrots when they try to nest and no population can sustain that. As a result, the swift parrots are just in freefall, the numbers are plummeting as we speak and that's why the situation is so urgent."

The forty-spotted pardalote lives in the south-eastern corner of Tasmania and some offshore islands while orange-bellied parrot is located in the south-west of Tasmania.

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