have been conducted during the past decade in an effort to ascertain the status
of the Regent Parrot in South Australia. These surveys were conducted during the
breeding season, when the birds are
concentrated along the river corridor as they breed almost exclusively in River
Red Gums. The number of nests present is a clear
indication of the number of nesting pairs and hence the breeding population of
this parrot in SA.
two breeding seasons, 2003 and 2004, Kevin Smith managed to locate a large
proportion of nests and by observing feeding flocks leading to a total estimated population of approximately 800 breeding
individuals. Over 370 person hours of survey effort, each breeding season, was
required to achieve
this result. A total of 51 colonies were found along the river from the SA border downstream to Swan Reach. Some of these colonies were very small, but
several numbered in
excess of 20 nesting pairs.
that a selection of these colonies should be surveyed every second year. Ten of the largest breeding colonies were selected for this biannual monitoring. These ten
colonies were surveyed in
2006 and 2008. In 2010 a larger project was run. With the assistance of a number of volunteers a full survey was conducted of the whole river corridor
in SA. Almost 30 people assisted, registering a total of
over 1100 person hours.
2010 Survey and Results
During the 2010 survey, 79.2% of the river
corridor and adjacent creeks and
backwaters were searched, including the ten previously monitored nest sites. Results revealed an overall decline in nesting
Regent Parrot pairs in
the ten colonies of 40% over the period between 2004 and 2010. As reasonably stable
numbers between were found between 2004 to 2008, the decline occurred over the past
greatest decline in nesting pairs was evident in colonies upstream of Lock 3
where drowned River Red Gums
have been the traditional nesting sites for Regent Parrots over the last twenty
years at least. The condition
of these trees is in rapid decline as a result of decay. There is also anecdotal evidence of increased human disturbance in the area.
to 2008 the number of Regent Parrot nesting pairs downstream of Lock 3 in the ten selected colonies
had increased, but then declined again by 26.5% over the past two years.
Read the full results in the report and associated maps, click on the links below to download: