The Swift Parrot is Critically Endangered, with just 750 birds estimated to be remaining in the wild.

Unless the threats facing the species are rapidly assessed, and its habitat restored, there is a high likelihood the parrot will become extinct over the next 20 years. 

Streamlined for speed, the Swift Parrot is one of the few truly migratory parrots in the world. The Swift Parrot is small, brightly coloured and feeds on nectar from flowering eucalypts. In autumn, the entire wild population migrates from Tasmania to forage in the dry eucalypt forests and woodlands of south-eastern Australia over winter, before returning to Tasmania to breed in spring. 

Major threats

Major habitat loss has created a serious problem for the Swift Parrot. More than 70% of the forests and woodlands they rely upon have been cleared, primarily for agriculture and timber harvesting, and habitat loss remains an ongoing threat. 

The introduction and spread of the Sugar Glider to Tasmania has added to the pressure, predating birds nesting in hollows.  

The plan for fighting extinction

In partnership with Birdlife Australia and the Swift Parrot Recovery Team, Zoos Victoria is assessing the need to establish a captive population for the Swift Parrot to insure against the risk of extinction and to restore the wild population, in conjunction with threat reduction and habitat protection. 

How you can help

  • Do what you can to increase community awareness and support for the Swift Parrot. 
  • Donate if you can. As we are a not-for-profit organisation, all donations go towards our conservation efforts. 
  • By visiting our zoos, you are supporting our work to fight extinction. 
  • Discover more about conservation events and join the growing number of wild activists taking action for wildlife. 

Is your classroom learning about the Swift Parrot? 

Browse through our collection of animal teaching and learning resources for students. These include animal toolkits, e-books, Ask a Zoo Expert resources, video showcases and real-world examples to support the VCE Study Design. 

Photo: Chris Tzaros

Number left in the wild:
Estimated 750 (range between 300 to 1000).

Conservation Status

  • LC
    Least Concern
  • NT
    Near Threatened
  • VU
  • EN
  • CR
    Critically Endangered
  • EW
    Extinct in the Wild
  • EX