Swift parrot

The devastating ecological impact of Melbourne's North East Link tollway project should force its rethink, writes Mary Merkenich.

Vital nesting trees for Australia's critically endangered Swift parrot in a forest at Buckland in southern Tasmania, have been illegally logged. They were caught in the act by researcher Dejan Stojanovic from the Australian National University, who said: “There was two cars worth of blokes standing around the base of one of my nest trees ... This site is one of the most important locations for Swift parrots on mainland Tasmania. “Since 2010, of the 18 nest trees that I've been monitoring with motion-activated cameras, 10 have been cut down.
The Bob Brown Foundation launched a new website, SaveBrunyIsland.org, on May 3 with a peaceful demonstration outside Hobart’s Parliament House. Conservationists held placards of the swift parrot, with an image drawn by cartoonist First Dog on the Moon. The new campaign is designed to mobilise members of the community to urge the Prime Minister and Tasmania’s Premier Will Hodgman, to protect all swift parrot habitat in secure reserves. The campaign will also target customers of logging company Ta Ann, asking them to reject timber logged in swift parrot habitat.
The Wilderness Society has obtained documents under freedom of information that show that the Tasmanian government is driving the endangered Swift Parrot to extinction. Last year the Tasmanian government quietly changed its rules to allow the parrot’s breeding habitat to be destroyed by logging. They also withdrew from the Swift Parrot Recovery Team, the national multi-agency expert group tasked with saving the species. The documents also show that federal environment minister Greg Hunt has repeatedly refused to act to protect one of Australia’s most endangered animals.