Study finds habitats for cockatoos

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
SWCC are asking for the public's help in locating Carnaby's Cockatoo nesting sights.
Camera IconSWCC are asking for the public's help in locating Carnaby's Cockatoo nesting sights. Credit: Keith Lightbody

Community members have helped the South West Catchments Council gain a better understanding of the habitat used by the endangered Carnaby’s cockatoo.

As part of the online survey conducted by the SWCC — in collaboration with local Natural Resource Management groups including the Blackwood Basin Group — the public was asked to report sightings of black cockatoos.

From the 150 sightings reported, the SWCC identified nine additional potential breeding sites for the Carnaby’s cockatoo — which will be surveyed by local landcare groups — as well as 26 roosting sites and 91 feeding locations.

SWCC threatened species program manager Dr Chambers said the survey was a good result.

“We’ve been really pleased with the amount of sightings that have been reported and the engagement from people has been very positive,” he said.

“To potentially go from two registered sites, possibly up to more than 10 is fantastic.”

Dr Chambers said despite there being only two registered breeding sites in the SWCC’s region, they knew there were a lot more.

“We just need to get those recorded so then we can put things in place to try and make sure that there is enough food and other resources around those sites for the birds to successfully breed there,” he said.

“At the moment the biggest issue with Carnaby’s in particular is a lack of breeding success, generally they are trying to breed but there is not enough food available for them and so those chicks don’t tend to survive very long.”

Dr Chambers said the main indication of a breeding site was evidence the birds were using hollows in the area to nest.

“During their breeding season, which is mid-winter through to January, possibly February, a pair of birds will take up residence in a hollow in a tree,” he said.

Carnaby’s feeding and drinking sites are within 12km of the nesting site.

Sightings can be reported using the online survey, located at https://app.maptionnaire.com/en/7399/.

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