Grant helps birds take flight
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.