‘Old Phones, New Trees’ grant helps the Superb Parrot

Superb Parrot Group, VIC

The Superb Parrot looking for a new home

Until 1992, the foraging and breeding sites of the Superb Parrot had been dramatically reduced by farming and urbanisation. This large, beautiful bird suffered because of its highly specialised nesting requirements, which led to a dramatic decline in its numbers and range. With the help of the Superb Parrot Group in Victoria however, the bird will soon be able to increase its flight and food source areas with the growth of newly planted trees.

A generous grant from MobileMuster gave the Group the tools and seeds to propagate and plant over 5500 plants in the Picola, Barmah and Nathalia regions of Victoria – key habitation areas for the now endangered Superb Parrot.

Together with volunteers from local towns and farms, the group aim was to bring together the fragmented nesting sites for the bird by planting flight and foraging corridors between the various habitable zones and the well-established Barmah National Park.

Over 7ha of land, with 59 eager helpers contributing a total of 400 hours, the group successfully planted native species that, with tender loving care, will be deep-rooted in the next 3-5 years. Problems created by pests such as kangaroos and rabbits were overcome through the installation of 5.35km of electric and link fencing.

Members were also given opportunities to learn new skills such as native planting, how to protect shoots and driving the seedling planter. As an encouraging sign of their good work, different native plants have started to take root that were not planted by volunteers and have not been seen in the area for many years.

Although time will tell if the rare bird will live prosperously again, the project has so far been a flying success. The improvements include attracting new members to the group and bringing the community closer to understanding farmer-based work.