RELOCATION IS NO SWIFT SOLUTION
THERE is considerable evidence of sugar gliders killing swift parrots: sitting females, chicks and eggs (Letters, Sunday
Tasmanian, October 7), possibly the biggest single threat to swifties’ survival, along with habitat destruction.
While I hate to see wildlife euthanised, her [letter writer Elaine Goodyer’s] preferences for releasing gliders elsewhere in Tasmania is not a viable solution. If there were none already existing in that area, we would simply have another population established.
The situation is that swift parrots do not return to the same nesting areas each year. This is because the blue gums, which they rely upon for feeding, flower in different locations from year to year. This requires the parrots to change their nesting locations so they can be near to their food supply.
Returning them to the mainland would possibly entail vet checks and quarantine.
Several international studies have shown that relocating wildlife species is ineffective. Some will return to their original location, and others will probably have a problem obtaining sufficient food and reproducing, as they will be in competition with the established population, which has a better knowledge of suitable food supplies, nest sites, etc. Bob Holderness-Roddam Austins Ferry