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Is the Superb Parrot Polytelis swainsonii population in Cuba State Forest limited by hollow or food availability?


The Superb Parrot Polytelis swainsonii is listed in threatened species legislation at State and National levels. As it is an obligate hollow nester, harvesting of River Red Gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis in south-eastern Australia has led to concern over the maintenance of their nest trees. While the availability of hollows is undoubtedly a critical factor in the conservation biology of the Superb Parrot, it is not known whether their recovery is limited by the hollow resource. Timber harvesting is shown to be capable of removing a variable proportion of Superb Parrot nest trees in Cuba State Forest, but the risk to nest trees is minimized by applying harvest plan prescriptions that aim to perpetuate the hollow resource. Consideration of the spatial organization of Superb Parrot nest trees in relation to the hollow resource and extant woodland vegetation indicates that food availability during the breeding season is likely to be a factor regulating population size. Research is required to test the relationship between the reproductive success of Superb Parrots and the area, quality and connectivity of woodland vegetation within their foraging range.

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