RE­LO­CA­TION IS NO SWIFT SO­LU­TION

Sunday Tasmanian - - Letters -

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

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