What’s the current situation of Carnaby’s Cockatoo in Western Australia?

December 8th, 2015 | by LubosTomiska
What’s the current situation of Carnaby’s Cockatoo in Western Australia?
Conservation projects
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According to the latest research, the wild population of Carnaby’s Cockatoo is reduced at a rate of 15% a year. A manager of Australian program Cockies in crisis (established by Birdlife) Tegan Douglas described the current situation for 720 ABC Perth:

„These figures show the population in Perth is going to drop by half again over the next five years.“

In the last century, Carnaby’s Cockatoos used to be very common species. However, they caused large damage in fruit orchads and that’s why local government approved to shoot them. Shooting is considered as the main factor of population decline in the past.

“The Carnaby’s are a little too smart for their own good; they can cotton on to useful food sources like macadamia crops, which they probably shouldn’t,” Ms Douglas said.

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Regular count shows decline in population

Carnaby’s Cockatoo was classified as separated species just recently. Before that it had been considered to be subspecies of White-tailed Cockatoo together with Baudin’s Cockatoo. However, further research shows that differences in ecology and morphology between both birds – Baudin’s Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus baudinii) and Carnaby’s Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) – are so significant that they both deserve own species status.

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File:Calyptorhynchus latirostris -Taronga Zoo (female)-8a.jpg

Carnaby’s Cockatoo in Taronga ZOO (c) Brenda Clarke. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

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Above mentioned program counts Carnaby’s Cockatoos every year. Over 600 volunteers in 300 locations are included.

„Everyone goes out on the same night so we know we are not double counting birds. If you repeat this year after year you get to see the pattern with these birds. Unfortunately at the moment it is a pattern that we are not happy to see,” said Ms Douglas explained to ABC news.

READ  Cape Parrot Project NEWS 10/2015

What’s the base of their diet? “Carnaby’s mostly eat seeds, like Marri and Jarrah,” Ms Douglas said.

“They are quite opportunistic and they will feed on nectar, and with their big strong beaks they can extract grubs from wood as well.”

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Title photo:  (c) Ken & Nyetta. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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