Richard Hill, Birds Australia
Environment Australia, May 2002
- Relevant Objective: Increase the extent of occurrence of the species and its total population size
- A minimum of 25 breeding pairs within 5 years
- A second wild population established
- Establishment of a mainland captive population investigated
- Conduct annual population count
Total population size and the number of adult males and females is the most important measure of the success of this recovery plan. The recovery team will conduct an annual count within NINP to determine total minimum population size, number of adult males and females, number of juveniles and the area of occupancy. These counts are currently confined to the NINP because of difficulties in accessing private land outside the park and the large areas to be covered in such a survey. However a significant number of parrots are now using this private land and attempts must be made to count these birds in the total population survey. Investigate conducting a simultaneous volunteer-driven survey of the parrot population outside of the park.
- Monitor breeding population
Locate all nests and protect them from predators. Consolidate all existing nesting data onto a single database.
- Establish and maintain sufficient predator-proof nest sites to support at least 25 breeding pairs.
This will permit the population to expand into currently unoccupied areas of NINP where lack of suitable hollows currently appears to limit nesting there and possibly areas outside of NINP. Lack of predator control outside the park currently means that there are limited opportunities to establish nesting habitat outside the park. Additional nest sites required to implement this plan should be made according to this design developed over a number of years and proven to be quite successful.
- Establish a wild population on Phillip Island
Currently about half of Phillip Island or c. 95 ha of Phillip Island has a young flora of weedy and native forest which has many Green Parrot feed species. Nest sites should be established on Phillip Island and a trial release of Green Parrots made. The recovery team will need to decide the source of these birds. It may be most practicable to use recently fledged wild birds from NI. Monitor this population total population size, age structure of population and causes of nesting failure for first two years. This area of vegetation may only support 4-5 breeding pairs (based on 20 ha/pair). If the Phillip Island population is completely isolated from Norfolk Island, such a small population may have to be supplemented with immigrants from Norfolk Island to prevent inbreeding, probably every generation.
- Investigate possibility of introduction of Green Parrots to Lord Howe Island
The closely-related Lord Howe Island Red-crowned Parakeet C. n. subflavescens became extinct in the nineteenth century possibly as a result of hunting and trapping (Hutton 1991). Currently an island restoration plan is being considered for Lord Howe Island. This would be a relatively long-term program which might include the opportunity to introduce Norfolk Island Green Parrots onto the island. The Green Parrot Recovery Team should liaise with the Lord Howe Island board to explore the options for including Norfolk Island Green Parrots in that program.
- Investigate establishment of a captive population on the Australian mainland
This may be warranted because the proximity of Phillip Island to Norfolk Island necessitates that birds on these two islands would be considered a single population and thus an additional population is required to safeguard the taxon against a catastrophic population decline or extinction of the wild population. A suitable mainland institution would establish and maintain a quarantined captive population.
- Action: Restore 4 ha of nesting habitat each year
Within the NINP habitat will be restored by removal of unsuitable weedy species and replanting of suitable native species, and by providing supplementary nest sites where necessary. Outside the park areas suitable for rehabilitation will be identified and landowners approached for their cooperation and assistance.
Relevant Objective: Implement threat abatement strategies
- Sufficient predator-proof nest sites to support the increased number of breeding birds.
- Rat and cat predation not posing a threat to Green Parrot population recovery.
- Feral nest competitors removed from Green Parrot nests and controlled in Green Parrot nesting areas.
- Predator proof all potential nest sites.
Nest sites require ongoing maintenance to maintain their predator proof status. Part of actions above.
- Maintain predator and introduced competitor control program
The rat and cat control program will need to continue to be implemented. An island-wide cooperative rodent control program should be implemented when practicable to assist establishment of Green Parrot breeding habitat outside NINP. Continue the existing cat control program. Control populations of Crimson Rosellas, European Starlings and Feral Honeybees in Green Parrot breeding areas. Remove all nest competitors attempting to nest in Green Parrot nest sites.
Relevant Objective: To increase involvement in and awareness of the Green Parrot by the community
- Increased community involvement in reporting of sightings and population monitoring
- Community survey undertaken to evaluate community involvement and awareness.
- Re-design the Green Parrot brochure.
Include information on bird strike deaths and window design and other measures to reduce the likelihood of bird strike. Hawk silhouette stickers might be provided free of charge to people who have had Green Parrots hit their windows or where likelihood of strikes is high.
- Provide regular updates in the NINP weekly newspaper column.
- Maintain the Green Parrot display aviary.
- Involve community in annual population monitoring
The Green Parrot pamphlet needs updating to conform to the Environment Australia style guide and it needs to be reprinted from time to time. Community reporting of Green Parrots should be encouraged in extension and media reports. This might take the form of providing training in the detection of birds by call using the aviary population, identification of males and females, and reading of band numbers. As mentioned above, this may be the only practicable way of monitoring the population of Green Parrots outside of NINP.
- Conduct survey of community awareness of and involvement in the Green Parrot recovery program.
Relevant Objective: To operate/ Implement the Recovery Plan through a Recovery Team
- Demonstrated successful operation / implementation of the Recovery Team over five years.
- Annual monitoring of progress against recovery plan objectives and performance criteria.
- Supervise the project
- Report on progress against objectives and performance criteria
The Recovery Team currently comprises three Norfolk Island Environment Australia staff, a Taronga Park zoo representative, a representative from the Norfolk Island National Park Advisory Council, and two members of the Norfolk Island community. There is no indigenous population and thus no indigenous representative. The recovery team will endeavour to ensure funding is available for the actions in this recovery plan. This may include seeking both private and public funding. The team will work toward satisfying the obligations associated with funding including publicity and reporting requirements. The Recovery Team will be involved in evaluating the performance of the plan.