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Golden Shouldered Parrot

Psephotus chrysopterygius

The golden-shouldered parrot is an endangered species with an estimated breeding population of less than 2,000 birds. The immediate and major cause of its decline is the food shortages early in the wet season. Other reasons for decline are altered fire regimes and land clearing. The Golden Shouldered Parrot feeds mainly on seeds of various annual and perennial grasses and farm crops.

A rare beauty
One of the main reasons for the decline of this endangered species is the illegal wildlife trafficking trade. The striking colours and slender build of this parrot has made it a popular species of wildlife smugglers, who remove birds from Australia, devastating their wild populations.

There’s no place like home!
Golden-shouldered Parrots have unique nesting habits. Breeding pairs dig a burrow measuring up to half a metre inside a 35 to 50 year old termite mound. Pairs will rarely nest in the same termite mound twice, making it tough to find a suitable nesting sites each year.

What’s for lunch?
Throughout the Golden-shouldered Parrot’s grassy woodland habitat, it is often seen on the ground, feeding on grass seeds. During the wet season, food shortages occur and the parrots are forced to adapt their diet. Cattle grazing and farming have also reduced the availability of annual and perennial grass seeds.