AUSTRALASIAN REGION

Dr. Johanne Martens johannemartens@yahoo.de




Past co-coordinators: Dr. George Olah, Prof. Dr. Rob Heinsohn, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jörn Theuerkauf


This region has been working on a review paper analysing the factors endangering birds in the region, focusing on evaluating the consequences of climate change on habitat loss and invasive species. The following scientific paper is the result of the work: Olah et al. (2018) Emu - Austral Ornithology, 118, 94-112, doi:10.1080/01584197.2017.1410066


For the period 2018-2022, we plan to follow the priorities outlined in our recent review covering this region (Olah et al. 2018), focusing on mitigating the main threats to the most endangered species. At the sub-regional level, we would focus on the following priority actions:


1. Australia

Australia, including its offshore islands, has 54 species of parrots, of which 15 are currently listed as threatened. We will continue our local on Critically Endangered Australian species. We also plan to do further conservation genetic research on Australian parrots, including whole genome sequencing and disease testing.

2. New Zealand

Invasive species present the most severe threat type to the parrots of New Zealand. We will continue to collaborate with colleagues from this region in monitoring the effects of predators and to protect the remaining parrot populations in the country.

3. Wallacea

The islands of Wallacea have 34 extant parrot species, of which 29% are threatened. Trapping was identified as a major threat in this sub-region. We will study the illegal parrot trade in Wallacea with forensic genomic tools in collaboration with colleagues from the Indo-Malayan region.

4. New Guinea

New Guinea is similarly rich in parrot diversity, with 46 native species, though only 7% are considered threatened. Many are poorly known, so we plan to gather further information on these species, and revise their Red List status.

5. Islands of the Pacific Ocean

There are 31 extant parrot species in the Pacific Islands, but nearly half (47%) are threatened with extinction. Conservation efforts will need to focus on eradication of invasive species from highlighted habitats. There are limited data for the parrots on most of the Pacific Islands, where research should be focused, with special emphasis on the threatened Vini species.

We will also involve audio-visual recording of our highlighted projects in the region to use them for education and awareness raising to the wider public (see more details at https://wildlifemessengers.org).

We are further planning to organise symposia and meetings for Australasian parrot researchers at conferences like AOC 2019, to form a stronger Australasian network and to promote collaborations and knowledge exchange.


contact Section Coordinator for information on joining