November 29, 2018

People power shows cockies’ decline has stopped — for now

The public of Western Australia has thrown its support behind the Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos — those black cockies with a larrikin nature — by coming out in large numbers to take part in BirdLife Australia’s 2018 Great Cocky Count. Birdlife

More than 750 citizen scientists registered for the event, and they weren’t disappointed. By counting the Carnaby’s as they flew in to roost at a myriad of sites in the Perth–Peel region, they provided some rare good news.

The population of Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos has stabilised in the Perth–Peel region over the past year, according to a new BirdLife Australia report of the findings of this year’s annual Great Cocky Count.

“It’s an encouraging result particularly as successive Great Cocky Counts have shown that the population of Carnaby’s around Perth has declined by more than a third since 2010,” said Adam Peck, BirdLife Australia’s Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo Project Coordinator.

“Although it’s good news, we can’t rest on our laurels. The overall long-term decline is still a great concern and shows we need to protect Carnaby’s habitat now more than ever.”

The fate of Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos and other Black-Cockatoo species still hangs in the balance and it’s hoped that assistance from resources company Alcoa will tip the scales in the right direction. The Alcoa Foundation is partnering with Birdlife Australia to deliver the ‘Alcoa Community Cockatoo Recovery’ initiative over the next three years (2019-2021).

The US$300,000 initiative will support citizen science projects like the Great Cocky Count along with community education campaigns and on-ground habitat restoration in the area stretching from Kwinana and Mandurah on the coast, east to Pinjarra and Dwellingup, and south to Harvey.

Alcoa of Australia Chairman and Managing Director Michael Parker said the partnership with Birdlife Australia was a logical extension of the many years of work the Company had invested in understanding and protecting these iconic species and regular visitors to the State’s jarrah forest, near where it operates.

“This important project is an extension of the focussed commitment Alcoa has to the environment, to biodiversity, and to working with our local communities on the things that matter to them,” Mr Parker said. “We have a proud history of long-term partnerships that are doing just that – making a difference – and we hope this will be another. Working together we can ensure that these charismatic birds continue to grace our skies.”

Photo caption:

L-R: Birdlife Australia Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo Project Coordinator Adam Peck; BirdLife Australia WA Program Manager Dr Vicki Stokes; BirdLife Australia Board Member Mandy Bamford; Alcoa of Australia Chairman and Managing Director Michael Parker.

Adam Peck, Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo Project Coordinator, BirdLife Australia
M: 0401 840 546