Community input and support is vital
Damon says the superb parrot project is a great example of what can be achieved when there are strong, local collaborations.
“It has showcased how well government and community partnerships can work, by bringing together different skills and passions in the community to help save threatened species.”
He says the groups involved in the project have provided substantial ‘in-kind’ contributions, and clever ways to find efficiencies with limited resources to make the greatest possible positive impact for the species.
“For example, farmers have found innovative ways to get the greatest number of tree guards out of a roll of steel mesh, which means the project has been really cost-effective.”
Tracee Burke, landholder and Mid Lachlan Landcare co-ordinator, says more support is always needed as are of course more trees on more and she’s glad there has been significant enthusiasm for the project so far.
“Our Landcare group committed to plant 500 new scattered paddock trees throughout 21 farms in the Cowra Canowindra region and what we’ve actually achieved is 1212 trees across 35 properties.
“We’ve provided 242% more than what we committed to in the first place and that is due to our amazing community getting behind this project.”
Win-win for sustainable agriculture, conservation and communities
Tracee is keenly aware of how special it is to see superb parrots, with fewer than 5000 breeding pairs estimated to remain the wild and the ongoing loss of old habitat trees.
"I think that the superb parrot has a lot of support from landholders around here because we actually see it quite regularly; it arrives every year around September and people want to do everything they can to make sure they will hear it and see it in the future forever."
The tree plantings and habitat protection works aimed at the superb parrot will also help local communities through the purchasing of materials as well as agricultural productivity, something Tracey Burke sees on her farm.
”Scattered paddock trees are very important in the landscape, they provide shade and shelter for livestock, allowing the animals to cool down or warm up if they need to. It can lead to better welfare and productivity of the animals.”
“While doing these projects on our farms may not contribute a huge amount to our bottom line and our profitability, it contributes a huge amount to our wellbeing, feeling of community and looking after the land we steward for the future.”
The Saving our Superb Parrot project is a partnership between the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program, Boorowa Community Landcare Group, Hovells Creek Landcare Group, Upper Lachlan Landcare, Mid Lachlan Landcare, LachLandcare, Greening Australia, Cowra Woodland Birds and National Parks and Wildlife Service NSW.