April 07, 2019
Alcoa counted on for annual cocky survey
Alcoa employees have been looking to the sky in support of the annual Great Cocky Count and Western Australia’s iconic black-cockatoos.
About 700 volunteers, including at least 10 from Alcoa, took part in this year’s Birdlife Australia-headed citizen science survey on Sunday 7 April, collecting vital information on the species as they came in to roost for the night at more than 420 sites across the south-west of the State.
The information provides an important snapshot of the endangered Carnaby’s and Baudin’s Black-Cockatoos and the vulnerable Red-Tailed Black-Cockatoo populations and over time is helping track changes in species numbers.
Several Alcoa volunteers counted cockatoos at two roosts on the Company’s bauxite mining lease in the Keysbrook area, west of Karnet. The new roosts were introduced to this year’s count as part of the new Alcoa Community Cockatoo Rescue Partnership with BirdLife Australia.
Other Alcoa volunteers participated in counts in Perth southern suburbs and the Bunbury area.
Alcoa of Australia Chairman and Managing Director Michael Parker took part in a count in the Murdoch area.
“As well as being an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday night, it’s clearly an important citizen science activity that will help ensure these iconic birds continue to grace our skies,” Mr Parker said.
Mr Parker said the US$300,000 Alcoa Community Cockatoo Rescue Partnership with Birdlife Australia not only supported activities like the Great Cocky Count but also habitat restoration, education and awareness.
Birdlife Australia Project Manager Vicki Stokes said land use changes had dramatically impacted black-cockatoos through the loss of food, roost and nest resources. “For example, more than 70% of the Swan Coastal Plain has been cleared of banksia woodlands, which are vital food sources for the cockatoos,” Ms Stokes said.
“Through this partnership, we want to educate the public and major landholders such as local governments and developers and encourage them to plant cockatoo-friendly species. We are also arranging mass plantings to provide habitat corridors and installing artificial nests and water points.
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