Grant helps birds take flight

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health - By JON BAS­SETT

METH­ODS de­vel­oped by Floreat’s Birdlife WA to pro­tect threat­ened Carn­aby’s black cock­a­toos will be used to help the at-risk Baudin’s and For­est red- tailed va­ri­eties of the species, with a $255,000 Lot­tery­west grant an­nounced last week.

“Last year, we were able to do a sta­tis­ti­cal anal­y­sis of all the pop­u­la­tions, on data re­cov­ered from our Great Cocky counts,” Birdlife WA cock­a­too re­cov­ery pro­gram ad­viser Jess Lee said.

Loss of habi­tat, fall­ing rain­fall and ur­ban ex­pan­sion is sus­pected to have halved the Baudin’s and For­est black cock­a­too pop­u­la­tions to about 15,000 birds of each va­ri­ety in the past 50 years in the South-West.

Dr Lee said Birdlife WA would use the grant to raise aware­ness of the plight fac­ing the two species and con­duct big­ger an­nual Cocky Counts with more vol­un­teers.

It will also iden­tify im­por­tant habi­tat and lo­ca­tions the birds use for roost­ing, breed­ing, feed­ing and drink­ing in the South-West

In Perth, Shen­ton Park’s Un­der­wood Av­enue bush­land is among favoured lo­ca­tions for about 40,000 Carn­aby’s cock­a­toos af­fected by met­ro­pol­i­tan growth.

An­nounc­ing the grant, En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Al­bert Ja­cob said he ex­pected an un­der­stand­ing of the sites’ roles for the birds would be part of a cur­rent Fed­eral and State gov­ern­ment strate­gic plan­ning as­sess­ment of the Perth and Peel re­gions.

Mr Ja­cob re­futed the ex­pan­sion of Perth’s pop­u­la­tion, which the State Gov­ern­ment es­ti­mates to reach 2.5 mil­lion by 2031, would make cock­a­too re­cov­ery pro­grams in­ef­fec­tive.

The Gov­ern­ment has spent $ 9.8 mil­lion on black cock­a­too preser­va­tion since 2008.

It has re­quired de­vel­op­ers to spend $20 mil­lion to buy 15,000ha of Banksia woods favoured by the birds.

En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Al­bert Ja­cob with res­cued Carn­aby’s cock­a­too Chasey and Birdlife WA cock­a­too re­cov­ery pro­gram ad­viser Jess Lee.

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