Nature conservation

Threatened species

Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii)

Saving our Species strategy

This species has been assigned to the Landscape species management stream under the Saving our Species (SoS) program.

Justification for allocation to this management stream

This species relies on hollow-bearing nest trees that are distributed sparsely across the landscape. Management at the landscape scale (e.g. promoting retention of paddock trees) is required to secure the species.

Conservation status

Management objectives

This SoS strategy aims to ensure that the species is secure in the wild in NSW and that its NSW geographic range is extended or maintained and maintain its conservation status under the BC Act.

Species sightings and management sites across NSW

The map below displays the species’ distribution in NSW, based upon the species’ geographic range, habitat distribution or area of occupancy (to as high a resolution as available data allow, using a range of data sources).

Information about the species’ habitat and ecology is available here.

The map may also display one or more management sites where management of important populations is underway. More information is available in the tables below.

Your search returned one or more sites that are restricted due to the sensitive nature of either the species or the site. Individuals involved in management on these sites can access detailed information via the database.


The species occurs in the following IBRA (Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia) regions in NSW:

Cobar Peneplain
Murray Darling Depression
NSW South Western Slopes
South Eastern Highlands

Proportion of the species' distribution on reserve

2% of the species' distribution occurs on reserve (within NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service estate).

Critical actions for this species

The key threats to the viability of landscape-managed species are loss, fragmentation and degradation of habitat, and widespread pervasive factors such as impacts of climate change and disease. Many of these threats are addressed by NSW planning, native vegetation, and biodiversity legislation, policy and programs including the offsets program (BioBanking, NSW Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects), Biodiversity Certification, management of environmental water and reservation under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Threats to this species are outlined here.

The actions listed in the action toolbox are supplementary to NSW legislation, policy and programs and can be used by stakeholders, where applicable to guide management at a site, regional or state scale.

Action toolbox

Action DescriptionScale
Retain living and dead paddock trees and plant or direct seed appropriate local eucalypt species, particularly white box, yellow box, Blakely's red gum and river red gum, to replace these trees in the long-term. Ideally, planted paddock trees should be spaced no more than 50m apart to provide connectivity for other fauna species.Site
Measure abundance and impact of feral European honeybees and common mynas on hollow availability for superb parrots and implement control measures.Site
Report illegal shooting or trapping of superb parrots to Environment Line (131 555).Site
Protect living and dead hollow-bearing trees from fire.Site
Investigate the efficacy of radar and radio/satellite telemetry tracking methods to detect superb parrot local and landscape scale flightpaths and key breeding and foraging sites for targeted on-ground protection and restoration actions.Area
Supplement the number of natural hollows with artificial hollows. These may be created in living or dead eucalypts without natural hollows using a chainsaw. Alternatively, appropriate nest boxes may also be used, provided that they are monitored for use by superb parrots and not exotic fauna and they are maintained in the long-term.Site
Raise awareness amongst land managers of the biodiversity and production value of protecting paddock trees and the need to ensure their replacement over the long term through planting and direct seedingState
Protect known and potential remnant superb parrot habitat, particularly box-gum, box-ironbark and weeping myall woodland and river red gum riparian gallery forest, with large hollow-bearing trees, native shrubs such as wattles, hop bushes and saltbushes and native grasses and manage to allow ongoing regeneration of local native trees, shrubs and groundcover plants.Site
Restore superb parrot habitat in strategic locations close to known habitat and movement corridors, including riparian areas, using appropriate local tree, shrub and ground cover species. The planting of wattles, hopbush, saltbush and native grasses will provide important foraging habitat.Site
Reduce the risk of superb parrots being killed at grain spill sites by re-establishing the superb parrot grain spill prevention campaign which encourages grain truck drivers to cover their loads.Area
Erect warning signs on roads where superb parrot road kill events are known to occur.Site
Revegetation activities to consider the implications of climate change impacts by building resilience in the current known range of the species, but also to look at securing or restoring habitats in areas predicted to be important to the superb parrot in the future under climate change.Site

How will this species be managed?

Key management sites for this threatened species are being identified by the NSW Government and other program partners, where feasible, cost-effective and beneficial management actions can be undertaken. Currently, 3 management sites have been identified for this threatened species.

Management sites

Click on column headers to sort
Site nameSite typeStatusLocal government area (LGA)
Southern Slopes and Southern Tablelands Priority management siteActive Blayney, Cabonne, Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional, Cowra, Forbes, Hilltops, Junee, Orange, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional, Temora, Upper Lachlan Shire, Weddin, Yass Valley 
Riverina Priority management siteActive Carrathool, Coolamon, Federation, Griffith, Junee, Leeton, Lockhart, Murrumbidgee, Narrandera, Wagga Wagga 
Tarcutta Hills Priority management siteActive Wagga Wagga 

Are you or is someone you know doing conservation work for this species or in this area?

Contact us to tell us about the work. Your input will help OEH evaluate the status of threatened species and provide a broader picture of conservation work across NSW.