Date Published: April 2011
The rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) has a native range that includes south and east Indonesia, east through New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and the north and east of Australia. In Australia, the rainbow lorikeet occurs from northern Queensland and along the east coast to the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. Feral populations occur in New Zealand and Perth (Western Australia).
The rainbow lorikeet is considered a vagrant to Tasmania and has been recorded as single sightings in the north of the State, all thought to have arrived naturally. Other records in the south, in areas around Hobart, are probably all aviary escapes. The natural distribution of the rainbow lorikeet includes areas similar in climate to Tasmania and there is therefore potential for this species to establish in Tasmania.
If the rainbow lorikeet established in Tasmania it is likely to compete with the musk lorikeet, swift parrot and green rosella for food and other resources. They also pose a potential disease risk to wild and captive parrots because they are carriers of Psittacine beak and feather disease. Rainbow lorikeets are a serious pest of cherries, apples, pears, stone fruit and grapes and the establishment of this species in Tasmania has the potential for high impact on these agricultural industries.
In Tasmania the rainbow lorikeet is currently listed as a controlled animal under the Nature Conservation Act 2002. This risk assessment concludes that rainbow lorikeets represent an extreme risk to Tasmania. Based on this assessment, it is recommended that rainbow lorikeets are placed on the list of species that are not imported into the State.
Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) (607Kb)