There were three projects previously initiated by the SA Regent Parrot Recovery Team in 2012-2013.
Over the past 20 years, surveys of Regent Parrot nest sites along the river corridor in SA have revealed a decline in numbers in many areas. In order to understand the reasons for this decline and gather information that can be used to arrest this decline, we need to understand how this species behaves.
The limited resources of the small Regent Parrot Recovery Team restricts the opportunities to gather information about the movement, feeding areas and flight paths of these very mobile and fast flying birds. Television advertisements are being aired on local television stations during the latter half of 2012 which encourage locals to report any sightings of Regent Parrots by calling the toll free Regent Parrot hotline 1800PARROT. All reports of sightings will be mapped as part of an ongoing attempt to understand how these elusive birds utilize the landscape in South Australia. Many of the reports will be followed up with a visit from a member of the team to gain this understanding.
2. Radio tracking
To obtain information about the daily movements and behaviour of Regent Parrots, the Recovery team will attach radio tracking devices to a small number of Regent Parrots so that the exact location of the 'tagged' bird at any time of the day can be determined. Sites that are frequented will be visited to see exactly what is so important for these birds at the site. This project will also provide information on how the birds move around the landscape at different times of the year and if there are any important flight paths that they regularly use.
Birds captured during this project will be checked by veterinarians to determine if there are any signs of disease and a feather sample from each bird captured will be used to study the genetic composition of the South Australian population.
The radio tracking devices will detach after 2 months and because the devices are so small there will be little if any inconvenience experienced by the birds while they are on the bird. All trapped birds will be released immediately they have been processed.
3. Nest Cameras
A number of nest hollows will be 'watched' throughout the breeding season by the use of cameras trained on the hollows from a distance so that there will be no interference with the nesting birds. The resulting films can then be viewed to determine if any predators visited the nest, if there was any competition from other species and how many young emerge at the end of the breeding season. Information will also be obtained about the length of the egg laying, incubation and brooding periods and the number of feeding events at different times during the breeding season. When all of this data is compiled an understanding of the breeding success at different sites will able to be determined.