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Biodiversity Month spotlight on the Regent Parrot

September is Biodiversity Month, which promotes the importance of protecting, conserving and improving the diversity of the region’s plants and animals.

Biodiversity Month spotlight on the Regent Parrot

Regent Parrot

The Mallee is made up of a large array of native flora and fauna, many of which are currently under threat and in need of protection.

“Biodiversity is the web of life, and it’s important that we take action now to ensure the plants and animals that inhabit our region are preserved for future generations to come,” Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Chair Sharyon Peart said.

In the Victorian Mallee, a key species is the Regent Parrot (Polytelis anthopeplus monarchoides), which has been suffering a decline in range and abundance over the last 100 years.

The Regent Parrot is a fast flying, medium-sized, slender, long-tailed, yellow to smokey-yellow parrot. It is listed as nationally vulnerable under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Although the exact size of the population is unknown, it is estimated to be no more than 2,900 adult birds in the Victorian Mallee region.

Regent Parrots are found along the Murray River (especially around Robinvale, Wemen and Hattah) and in southern Wyperfeld National Park. Flocks can also be seen around Murrayville, Manangatang, Hopetoun and Birchip.

“An important part of improving biodiversity is the community’s understanding and knowledge of the threatened species in their surrounds,” Ms Peart said.

Regent Parrots nest in hollows of River Red Gums, but feed in areas of mallee eucalypt vegetation. They need vegetation corridors to use as flight paths to protect them from predators as they move between feeding and nesting sites each day.

Clearing and degradation of nesting and foraging habitat, destruction of flight paths and competition from other parrots for nest hollows are just some of the threats which have led to the decline in numbers over the years.

The community can help ensure the survival of the Regent Parrot by retaining and enhancing native vegetation along watercourses and surrounding areas, controlling foxes and feral cats and keeping a distance from nest trees during breeding season.

To find out more about programs that protect Regent Parrot habitat, please call the Mallee CMA on 5051 4377.

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