Secure Black Cockatoo Habitat

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The 2017 Great Cocky Count was released on 7 September 2017.

Red-tailed Black Cockatoos at Bold Park.

From the introduction: ‘Trend analysis of roost counts for Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo in the Perth-Peel Coastal Plain found significant declines in both the fraction of occupied roosts and average flock size over the past eight Great Cocky Counts (2010-2017). The combined effect of fewer occupied roosts with fewer birds in each roosting flock is an estimated current decline rate of 11% per year in the number of Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos on the Perth-Peel Coastal Plain’.

‘On the Perth-Peel Coastal Plain, the majority of the Carnaby’s Black–Cockatoos are restricted to relatively few roost sites. For example, 78% of all the birds recorded in the 2010-2017 Great Cocky Counts were in just 20 roost sites. Many of these sites are associated with pines. Trend analysis shows that the rate of decline in pine-associated roosts is roughly half that of non pine-associated roosts (7% and 13% respectively).

Provision of adequate roost sites and feeding habitat is needed to ensure the persistence of Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo in this region.’

Key points from the Report are:

Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo

  • Trend analysis of roost counts for Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo in the Perth-Peel Coastal Plain found significant declines in both the fraction of occupied roosts and average flock size over the past eight Great Cocky Counts (2010-2017). The combined effect of fewer occupied roosts with fewer birds in each roosting flock is an estimated current decline rate of 11% per year in the number of Carnaby’s Black- Cockatoos on the Perth-Peel Coastal Plain’. (p iii)
  • ‘On the Perth-Peel Coastal Plain, the majority of the Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos are restricted to relatively few roost sites. For example, 78% of all the birds recorded in the 2010-2017 Great Cocky Counts were in just 20 roost sites’. (p iii)
  • ‘The population of Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos inhabiting the Perth-Peel Coastal Plain is significant at a species-scale, with four of the five largest known roosts and six of the ten largest’. (p iv) (Underwood roost site is listed as the ninth largest roosting site)
  • Largest roosts:

Within the largest ten sites within the Perth-Peel Coastal Plain, sites numbered 7,8,9 and 10 are at ‘Gingin (GINGINR001), Dawesville (MANDAWR002), Underwood Avenue in Floreat (CAMFLOR001) and Hollywood Hospital in Nedlands (NEDNEDR001).’ (p 20)

  • ‘Population of Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo is declining in the Perth-Peel Coastal Plain Despite the high count this year, there are strong indications that Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo in the Perth-Peel Coastal Plain is experiencing ongoing decline. Trend analysis of roost counts over the last eight GCCs found a current rate of decline of an estimated 11% per year. When restricted to the larger, more stable roosts, the decline was still estimated at 0-5%. From these results, we conclude that the population of Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo on the Perth-Peel Coastal Plain continues to decline at a rate of around 5-11% per annum, slightly lower than trends estimated in previous years (e.g. Byrne et al. 2015; Peck et al. 2016). Should this trend continue, it is of serious concern for the future viability of Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo in the Perth-Peel Coastal Plain’. (p 39)

Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo.

  • Significant FRTBC roosts occurred at Floreat (261 birds), Yokine (239 birds), Murdoch (209 birds), Morley (130 birds), Melaleuca (129 birds), Baldivis (120 birds), Kensington (116 birds) and Jandabup (102 birds)’. (The FRTBC roost site at UWA Sports Park Brockway Road, right opposite Lot 4, was the largest roost site for FRTBCs across the Perth-Peel area).
  • Counts from the 2017 GCC demonstrate the extent of this expansion [of FRTBC from the Jarrah Forest] onto the Swan Coastal Plain and suggest that significant roosts now occur throughout the Perth area. Additional surveys conducted by GCC volunteers in 2014 also indicate that FRTBCs show strong roost fidelity and year-round residency in at least three locations – Kensington bushland and adjacent reserves, Murdoch University, and the Floreat/Underwood Avenue area….’ (p 43)

Read the full report here.  Download.

Current Threats.

Cockatoos at Bungendore Park.

The future survival of these cockatoos is of great concern. The impacts of climate change, alterations in the landscape,changing forest structure and the expansion of some native and exotic species that are competing with cockatoos are all having an adverse affect on cockatoo populations. Declining rainfall, for example, has already altered the foraging behaviour, distribution and, in some areas, migration patterns of cockatoos and will no doubt also influence breeding success.

On the Swan Coastal Plain about 90% of the original vegetation has been replaced by cities, towns, farms, vineyards,  orchards and industrial areas. In many areas the small patches of remnant bushland remaining are not in pristine condition. Furthermore, the entire structure of the adjacent Jarrah-Marri forest has been altered in the past 60–100 years.

Work on all three species of cockatoo has encompassed a range of conservation issues. These include the identification of threats, help with the establishment of recovery and management plans, the identification of critical habitat and an improved understanding of their breeding biology, movements and changes in distribution and status.

Key Objectives.

  1. Research the breeding biology, current distribution and ecological status of all three species and the threats to their survival.
  2. Document areas of critical habitat (breeding, roosting and feeding sites); also species ranges and changes in populations due to impacts of landclearing, nest competitors, fire and climate change.
  3. Conduct targeted surveys for breeding, feeding and roosting sites in important sections of the south-west including northern Darling Range, Swan Coastal Plain, Whicher Range, Albany-Walpole region and Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge.
  4. Provide information on habitat enhancement through habitat planting to help protect and restore native vegetation and terrestrial ecosystems and help with the design, installation and protocols for the installation of artificial nest boxes.
  5. Increase public awareness of conservation issues related to black cockatoos and the importance of maintaining existing nest hollows especially veteran and stag trees and feeding habitats.
  6. Assess the impact of introduced and invasive species including feral European honey bees, and Galahs and Corellas on cockatoo nest hollows and the development of effective eradication and control methods.

Resources

Urban Bushland Symposium Proceedings:  Endangered Black-cockatoos.  Download.

West Australian Museum – Cockatoo Care Program.

Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservaton Centre.

A Tale of Two Cockatoos – Video.

Artificial hollows for Carnaby’s Black-cockatoo.      Using.      Designing.      Monitoring.

Spike’s Story.

Managing Habitat for endangered Carnaby’s Black-cockatoo.

Gallery

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Urban Bushland Council WA Inc

2 Delhi Street West Perth WA 6005

PO Box 326 West Perth WA 6872

(08) 9420 7207 (please leave a message)

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