Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association
Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association

Species Profiles for Comment

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) is the leading representative body for Tasmanian primary producers. TFGA members are responsible for generating approximately 80% of the value created by the Tasmanian agricultural sector.

The total Tasmanian gross state product (GSP) was $23.9 billion for the 2012 year. The GVP of agriculture, forestry and fishing collectively amounted to almost 9% of this total – before input supply services and value-adding, which is well above that for the nation as a whole.

The TFGA is grateful for the opportunity to make comment to the DPIPWE Wildlife Management Branch, as part of the process for assessing whether a species should be added to the list of species that can be imported into Tasmania.

The five species include: Siberian Tiger; Blue-fronted Amazon; Yellow-crowned Amazon; Red Lory; and Yellow-bibbed Lory.

Siberian tigers are not currently considered as a pest species. Furthermore, they have not been known to establish feral (non-native) populations outside of their native range and are not recorded on the Global Invasive Species Database (Global Invasive Species Database 2015). To date, no introduction attempts have been noted. However, Siberian tigers are capable of impacting agriculture as it is known that when their natural prey source becomes scarce (usually through overhunting of their prey by humans) Siberian tigers will turn to hunting domestic livestock as a source of prey (Robinson et al. 2015).

In Tasmania, the Siberian tiger is likely to be categorised as a ‘controlled animal’ under the Nature Conservation Act 2002. The Vertebrate Pest Committee (VPC 2007) has assessed the Siberian tiger as an ‘extreme’ threat species. Therefore, collections of this species may only be kept under permit for either education, conservation, entertainment and/or exhibition purposes (VPC 2007).

The TFGA would support the importation of Siberian Tigers on the basis that Tasmanian zoos are appropriately fenced to contain this animal. Currently, we are of the opinion that no zoos in the State have the appropriate containment fences to allow such an animal to be imported. Unless, this is changed we do not support the importation of Siberian Tigers.

The Blue-fronted Amazon is considered an agricultural pest in some parts of its South American range for impacting on agriculture, including maize and sunflower crops and causing damage to fruit crops during winter.

The Vertebrate Pest Committee assessed the Blue-fronted Amazon as a ‘Serious’ threat.

If established, the Blue-fronted Amazon could potentially compete with native species for tree hollows. This includes threatened Tasmanian species, such as the Swift Parrot (endangered), Orange-Bellied Parrot (endangered), and Forty-Spotted Pardalote (endangered), and non-threatened native species such as Musk Lorikeet and Blue-winged Parrot. The species has attributes that suggest it may impact on the timber and agricultural industry within Tasmania, including trees, vegetables, fruit, cereal grains and flowers. The species may also contribute to the spread of Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease.

On the above assessment of the Blue-fronted Amazon we do not support the importation of this species of parrot into Tasmania.

If established, the Yellow-crowned Amazon could potentially compete with native species for tree hollows. This includes threatened Tasmanian species, such as the Swift Parrot (endangered), Orange-Bellied Parrot (endangered), and Forty-Spotted Pardalote (endangered), and non-threatened native species such as Musk Lorikeet and Blue-winged Parrot. The species has attributes that suggest it may impact on some cultivated crops grown in Tasmania, including lemons and Lucerne. The species may also contribute to the spread of Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease.

In a previous risk assessment, the Vertebrate Pest Committee assessed the Yellow-crowned Amazon as an ‘Extreme’ threat (VPC 2007). The species is included on the Department of Environment’s 2007 Inventory of Exotic (non-native) Bird Species known to be in Australia and is classified as ‘high interest’ based on pest and disease risk and the potential for illegal trade in the species (DoE 2007).

On the above assessment of the Yellow-crowned Amazon we do not support the importation of this species of parrot into Tasmania.

From a review of available information it appears that the Red Lory is not likely to have any serious human health, biosecurity or environmental impacts in Tasmania. While the Red Lory is not present in Western Australia and is prohibited entry to the state in order to preserve a strict biosecurity approach, the species is bred and sold in Queensland.

No records of the species being a pest, causing damage to the environment or agriculture were found in the literature. No records were found of the species spreading rapidly following release in new environments.

Because the natural distribution of the Red Lory is very different to the climate of Tasmania the potential for this species to establish in Tasmania appears unlikely.

On the above assessment of the Red Lory we do support the importation of this species of parrot into Tasmania, on the basis that appropriate containment is properly undertaken.

From a review of available information it appears that the Yellow-bibbed Lory is not likely to have any serious human health, biosecurity or environmental impacts in Tasmania.

No records of the species being a pest, causing damage to the environment or agriculture were found in the literature. No records were found of the species spreading rapidly following release in new environments. Modelling indicates that Tasmania’s climate is highly dissimilar and the model produced the lowest climate match score possible, being ‘0’.

On the above assessment of the Yellow-bibbed Lory we do support the importation of this species of parrot into Tasmania, on the basis that appropriate containment is properly undertaken.

Please contact the TFGA if you require any further information.