SWIFT PARROTS FOUND ON SITE OF MMG’S PROPOSED TARKINE WASTE DUMP

Critically Endangered Swift Parrots were recorded over the last breeding season in the takayna rainforests threatened by MMG’s controversial mine waste dump.

A new book and exhibition of the critically endangered Swift Parrots has been published by a collaboration of groups concerned with the future survival of the parrots. All of the Swift Parrots in this exhibition were photographed within or immediately adjacent to areas proposed for logging or clearing for a mine waste dump in 2023 or 2024.

“Our science team and tree sitters recorded Swift Parrots for the first time in large numbers in south east takayna. For two months in early 2023, the critically endangered species was observed frequently. Vitally important, an active nest was observed and then photographed by Tasmanian photographer Rob Blakers in nearby forests, that are threatened by logging. This active nest was only a few kilometres from the forests threatened by MMG’s waste dump. We have further proof that the forests threatened by MMG in takayna are habitat for critically endangered and threatened species and need urgent secure protection,” Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaigns Manager Jenny Weber said.

“MMG’s mining lease was potentially part of this Swift Parrot breeding pair’s territory when supporting the newly born generation of critically endangered Swift Parrots. This new scientific evidence confirms the status of a breeding ground to takayna for the critically endangered Swift Parrot,” said Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaign Scientist Charley Gros.

“Federal Environment Minister Plibersek and her department, currently assessing the proposal by MMG to destroy these forests, have been informed of these important findings,” said Jenny Weber.

“The final refuges of the critically endangered species must be placed in securely protected reserves. The ongoing wanton destruction of the Swift Parrot breeding habitats by Tasmania’s and Australia’s governments must cease,” Jenny Weber said.

A first time photograph of three critically endangered species juveniles in their tree hollow nursery is one of many globally unique photographs of breeding Swift Parrots this last breeding season are published in a new book. This new publication is a call to action by photographers Rob Blakers and Antoine Chrétien. The book is published by Wild Island, Bob Brown Foundation, Birdlife Tasmania, The Tree Projects and Outside the Box.

“I spent much of last summer in the Eastern Tiers, climbing trees to photograph Swift Parrots. They are extraordinary and incredibly beautiful birds. They are also our environmental canary. The fate of the Swift Parrot, and the fate of a cascade of other wildlife and ecosystems, depends on the maintenance of old trees and undisturbed native forests. Native forest logging destroys the old trees with hollows, and the nectar-bearing trees, that are essential habitat for the Swift Parrot,” Photographer Rob Blakers said.

“Every politician who can protect the Swift Parrot will have this book on their desks in coming days, in an extinction crisis and after another season of breeding Swift Parrots losing their nesting trees to logging, the parliamentarians in our state and federal parliaments have the obligation and responsibility to halt the logging and securely protect the habitat of this fastest parrot on Earth that is vanishing fast,” Jenny Weber said.

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