The importance of adaptive management in 'off-reserve' conservation for forest fauna: implementing, monitoring and upgrading swift parrot Lathamus discolor conservation measures in Tasmania

  • Published source details Munks S., Richards K. & Brereton R. (2004) The importance of adaptive management in 'off-reserve' conservation for forest fauna: implementing, monitoring and upgrading swift parrot Lathamus discolor conservation measures in Tasmania. Pages 688 in: D. Lunney (ed.) 698, Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman, Australia.


The endangered swift parrot Lathamus discolor breeds only in Tasmania where over 80% of foraging habitat is within private land. In this study effectiveness of non-reserve conservation management prescriptions for swift parrot foraging habitat was assessed for forestry operations in sclerophyll forest in eastern Tasmania.

Forestry operations were conducted February 1995 to March 1998. Between 1995-1998 (i.e. year parrot prescriptions introduced and monitoring commenced) 83 timber harvesting plans for areas with potential parrot habitat were prepared. Fifty-seven plans (including specialist advice provided) were selected. Forest officers must seek specialist advice if the proposed operation area contains habitat of threatened Tasmanian species. Assessments were made of: 1) incorporation of prescribed actions by specialists (i.e. 'wildlife habitat clump retention', 'patch retention' and 'single ' blue gum Eucalyptus globulus retention; blue gum is the prime foraging tree species) into harvesting plans, and 2) efficacy of implementation.

Prescriptions advised were generally incorporated into plans. However, post-harvest assessment of 10 areas containing high or medium quality habitat suggested that prescription implementation was ineffective in protecting prime foraging habitat. Whilst prescribed clumps of trees were retained, and all included some blue gum, only 16% of clumps contained the prescribed number (2-3) of mature gums. In part, this was considered due to lack of detail in plans. Where clumps were retained, much disturbance occurred during timber harvesting such that effectiveness was questionable. As a result of this study, swift parrot prescriptions were modified to better achieve retention of foraging habitat (adopting a patch retention strategy).

Note: If using or referring to this published study, please read and quote the original article which can be viewed at:

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust