Swift parrot - endangered species listing

NSW Scientific Committee - final determination

The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Final Determination to list the Swift Parrot Lathamus discolor (Shaw) as an ENDANGERED SPECIES on Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Act, and to omit reference to this species as a VULNERABLE SPECIES on Schedule 2 of the Act. Listing of Endangered Species is provided for by Part 2 of the Act.

The Scientific Committee has found that:

1. The Swift Parrot Lathamus discolor (Shaw) is currently listed as a Vulnerable Species on Schedule 2 of the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act. The Swift Parrot is also listed as an Endangered Species on the Schedules of the Commonwealth Endangered Species Protection Act, 1992.

2. The Swift Parrot occurs in woodlands and forests of New South Wales from May to August, where it feeds on eucalypt nectar, pollen and associated insects (Forshaw and Cooper 1981).

3. The Swift Parrot breeds in Tasmania, where the breeding population has declined from in excess of 10,000 pairs to less than 1,000 pairs (Forshaw 1993, Garnett 1993, Brereton 1998). Numbers in New South Wales are considerably less than this.

4. The Swift Parrot is dependent on flowering resources across a wide range of habitat in its wintering grounds in New South Wales (Shields and Crome 1992). Continued loss of this resource through conversion of native woodlands and forests to other land uses associated with human development threatens the continued existence of this species in nature in New South Wales in the short term (2 - 5 years).

5. In view of 2, 3 and 4 above, the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that the numbers of the Swift Parrot Lathamus discolor (Shaw) have been reduced to such a critical level and its habitats have been so drastically reduced that it is in immediate danger of extinction in New South Wales and therefore eligible for listing as an Endangered Species.

Proposed Gazettal date: 24/3/00

Exhibition period: 24/3/00 - 28/4/00


Brereton, R. (1998). A review of the conservation status of the Swift Parrot Lathamus discolor. Submission to the Endangered Species Scientific Subcommittee, Environment Australia.

Forshaw, J.M. (1993). Swift Parrot Lathamus discolor In: Readers Digest Complete Book of Australian Birds. Second Edition. Schodde, R. and Tidemann, S. (Eds). Readers Digest Services Pty Ltd, Sydney, p.318.

Forshaw, J.M. and Cooper, W.T. (1981) Australian Parrots, (2nd Ed.). Lansdowne Press, Melbourne.

Garnett, S. (Ed.). (1993). Threatened and extinct Birds of Australia. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union and Australian NPWS, Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union Report, No. 82.

Shields, J. and Crome, F. (1992). Parrots and pigeons of Australia. Angus and Robertson, Sydney.

About the NSW Scientific Committee

Page last updated: 28 February 2011