Facts & figures
- 6 species of different rainbow lorikeet identified in the wild
- 155,400km squared approximation of area to be observed as part of project
Facts & figures
Lorikeet Paralysis Syndrome (LPS) is a disease occurring in wild rainbow lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus) that causes the birds to become paralysed and unable to fly.
This disease is seasonal, occurring between October and June, with the highest number of cases happening between December and February. This results in thousands of rainbow lorikeets being admitted into care each year across south-eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales (NSW).
Rainbow lorikeets with LPS initially require intensive care followed by long-term rehabilitation, wearing on the resources of both veterinarians and wildlife carers.
The cause of LPS is unknown with research unable to identify an infectious agent or man-made toxin as the causative agent. However, researchers are now exploring the possibility that LPS may be caused by ingestion of a toxic plant that occurs in southern Queensland and northern NSW.
The seasonality of the disease suggests a blooming/fruiting period of the toxic plant that occurs during October to June. The distribution of the locations where lorikeets are found is not random, suggesting that if a toxic plant is the cause of LPS, the plant occurs in some areas but not others.
We require citizen scientists within the designated study site to report observations on iNaturalist of what plant species/food sources the rainbow lorikeets were observed feeding on.
Our objective is to collect as many observations as possible from citizen scientists living within southern Queensland and northern NSW area about the plant species wild rainbow lorikeets are feeding on.
This will assist as in identifying what plants or other food sources researchers should sample and test in further studies.
If you live within the study site and are interested in the project, find out how you can participate and submit an observation.
Data gathered from the project will be analysed to:
Initial surveys done of the area have found rainbow lorikeets feeding on:
This important project examining Lorikeet Paralysis Syndrome would not be possible without the generous support of the New South Wales Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES).