One of the key objectives of the first year of the Biodiversity Bright Spots: Golden-shouldered Parrot is to increase community understanding of Golden-shouldered Parrots and their threats. Through various communication products and engagement events in the first year of the project (2019-20) we aimed to increase public knowledge of the species.
At the start of the first year baseline data was collected on knowledge of Golden-shouldered parrots, their habitat and threats. The surveys were promoted through digital channels and also at local events such as the Parrots in the park event at the Chillagoe Rodeo. The survey targeted existing knowledge around distribution, habitat and threats. A follow-up survey was then undertaken at the end of the first year in June 2019 to compare the knowledge of respondents after targeted engagement and communication. The surveys were designed to capture changes in knowledge but also to capture information about public perceptions of threats, habitat, ecology and distribution of Golden-shouldered parrots.
The baseline survey at the start of the first year was completed by 36 people, while the follow-up survey in June 2019 was completed by 32 respondents. Here, the responses from people will be compared for each of the six questions.
Question 1: Have you ever heard of the Golden-shouldered parrot?
Question 2: Do you know where Golden-shouldered parrots live?
Question 3: Do you know where Golden-shouldered parrots nest?
Question 4: How endangered do you think the Golden-shouldered parrot is?
Question 5: What do you think is the biggest threat to Golden-shouldered parrots?
Overall, there was a significant increase in the proportion of respondents that had heard about Golden-shouldered parrots. There was an increase in the number of respondents in the follow up survey indicated that they believed GSPs were found in the Wet Tropics, but there was a similar increase in the number of respondents that also thought the parrots were found in the gulf. The surveys also captured an increase in knowledge of GSP’s nesting habitat (termite mounds). There was also a shift in perception of how endangered the species is from very endangered to extremely endangered. Interestingly, both surveys revealed that feral cats are considered the main threat to GSPs. This result may have been influenced by significant media coverage in recent years about the feral cat issue in Australia. It is unclear whether feral cats are indeed a major issue for GSPs in the southern population.
Although the same people were not surveyed in the baseline and follow-up surveys, similar numbers from similar audiences were surveyed in both surveys. Another knowledge survey will be conducted at the end of the project to assess change in knowledge of Golden-shouldered parrots.
This project is supported by Northern Gulf Resource Management Group, through funding from the AustralianGovernment’s National Landcare Program.
Published with StoryChief