Norfolk Island recent visit: decline in parrots and robins

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Subject: Norfolk Island recent visit: decline in parrots and robins
From: "Dion Hobcroft" <>
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2011 10:43:13 +1000

I have just returned from a two night visit to Norfolk Island. I spent nine
hours in the National Park walking trails at Mount Pitt, Mount Bates, Palm
Glen and Machlachlan's Lane. The weather was not wonderful having strong
winds for the duration of the stay although it was quite sheltered in the
forest interior.


It was of concern that in the nine hours of birding in the park we could
only find one pair of Tasman Parakeets and one male Pacific Robin.


The Crimson Rosella population has exploded since my last visit in 2001.
There appear to be no ongoing control programs (perhaps someone knows more
about this). The Crimson Rosella is abundant in the national park. It is a
recognised competitor for nesting sites of the Tasman Parakeet along with
the equally abundant European Starling (See Stephen Garnett-Threatened and
Extinct Birds of Australia).


I think there is a definite need for regular systematic population surveys
of both the Tasman Parakeet and the Pacific Robin and rosella control in the
park at least. The Tasman Parakeet could also benefit from identification
and protection of nesting hollows or creation of a nest box program. The
robin may benefit from extra rat protection at nesting sites.


It was great to see plenty of Norfolk Island Whistlers, Gerygones, Fantails
and Slender-billed White-eyes. I left Norfolk concerned for the long term
welfare of the Tasman Parakeet and Pacific Robin. Both species should have
much higher population densities.






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