A Swift Response

Securing stepping stones of habitat for the Swift Parrot

The critically endangered Swift Parrot is one of only two migratory parrots in the world, with only 2,000 parrots remaining in the wild. On the mainland, habitat loss, deaths resulting from collisions with man-made structures and competition with more aggressive urban birds (such as the Rainbow Lorikeet or Noisy Miner) all contribute to the Swift Parrot’s steep decline.

Melbourne’s northern fringe contains some of the most important foraging grounds for the Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolour) following its annual northern migration from breeding grounds in Tasmania. The Grey-box Grassy Woodlands, Yellow Gum Grassy Forests and Box-Ironbark dominated vegetation communities provide stepping stone habitat for Swift Parrot following an exhausting flight across Bass Strait and prior to their dispersal to the dry forests and woodlands of the Great Dividing Range.

Under constant threat from urban expansion, these vegetation communities experience a range of impacts such as canopy decline, weed invasion and fragmentation. It is estimated that less than 30% of forests and woodlands that the species once relied upon for foraging during winter remain.

Working across the landscape, this project will focus on improving vegetation quantity, quality and connectivity to strengthen suitable foraging and roosting habitat for the Swift Parrot between the Diamond Creek and Jacksons Creek catchments.

Photo: Chris Tzaros

Themes and Local Areas

Primary Theme:Native animals
Other Themes:Native vegetation, Communities
Primary Local Area:Macedon Ranges, Hume, Mitchell & Whittlesea
Other Local Areas:Yarra Ranges & Nillumbik, Urban Melbourne
Project location:This project is located across Melbourne’s northern fringe from Diamond Creek to Sunbury
Scale of the project:Local
New or continuing work:New project/work

Project partners

Lead organisation:Melbourne Water
Key partners:Nillumbik Shire Council, Banyule Council, Whittlesea Council, Hume Council, Parks Victoria, BirdLife Australia, Trust for Nature, VicRoads, Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation
Registered Aboriginal Party/s relevant to the project or its area:Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation

Investment opportunities

Opportunities for investors within this project start from:$$$ (Hundreds of thousands of dollars)
Estimated scale of investment for full project implementation:$$$$ (Millions of dollars)
Estimated timeframe for full project implementation:2-10 years

Contribution toward targets

Primary Regional Catchment Strategy target:Native Animals – Wild populations of all threatened native animal species in the region are retained and their populations are self-sustainable, secure, healthy and resilient
Relevant Biodiversity 2037 goal:Protect or assist one or more critically endangered or endangered species/community of native vegetation or native animal
Relevant National Landcare Program priority:Priority species – Swift Parrot

More information