Superb Parrot  |  

Polytelis swainsonii

Status: Vulnerable on the EPBC Act list

The Superb Parrot is a medium-sized (length: 40 cm; weight: 130–160 g) parrot with bright green plumage and a long tail. The males and females are dimorphic. Males are generally bright green, though slightly paler and yellowish below, with a blueish wash on the crown and nape, a bright-yellow face and bright red band across the throat, slightly darker green tail, and a blue leading edge to the upperwing. The bill is brownish red, the eyes red; and the legs and feet are grey. Females are paler than males, being generally dull green with a blueish-green wash to the face, grading to greyish green on the upper throat, a pale pinkish patch on the lower throat, and a dull yellow-green underbody with pink-red thighs. The bill is brownish red, the eyes crimson and the legs and feet grey. Juveniles are generally similar to adult females except without any blueish wash to the face or pink wash to the throat. The species is usually seen in small flocks, and occasionally larger ones of up to 60 or more birds. When females are incubating, flocks may be comprised only of males.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

Expand all Close all
  • Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Polytelis swainsonii

    Climate change Bioclimatic modelling has shown that the superb parrot is highly sensitive to climate change (Manning et al; in review).
    In addition to the loss off hollow bearing trees; research by Manning et al. (in review); has shown dramatic declines in superb parrot habitat may occur as a result of climate change.
    This will likely compound the impacts of climate change on this species.
    Based on the information available there is sufficient evidence to support listing the superb parrot as Vulnerable under Criterion 1A4 (a)(c) as there are data showing declines across a substantial portion of their range from a number of sources over recent history (Birdlife Australia 2015 Ellis Taylor 2014 Manning et al. unpublished data) and sufficient evidence to suspect that the population will continue to decline into the future due to the ongoing loss of woodland habitat; particularly of mature hollow bearing trees; and the impacts of climate change which will likely lead to a range contraction for the species over the coming decades.
    Ellis and Taylor (2014) undertook a long term study in the central western plains of NSW; looking at changes in the abundances of bird species between the drought years of 2005 2009 and the post drought period of 2010 2013.