30 July 2019
Cockatoo project takes flight
A new partnership between BirdLife Australia and the Alcoa Foundation to conserve threatened black-cockatoos has soared to new heights this week.
Revegetation work has seen more than 2,000 seedlings planted by over 100 volunteers in Martin and Mandurah, including a planting event in Mandurah’s Marlee Reserve on National Tree Day, as a result of the Alcoa Community Black-Cockatoo Recovery Partnership. Over the next three years, the Partnership will see over 20,000 seedlings planted, 24 artificial hollows (known as ‘Cockatubes’) installed and the community engaged in citizen science events such as The Great Cocky Count.
“It’s great to see volunteers and property owners get involved in this project,” said Adam Peck, BirdLife Australia’s Black-Cockatoo Project Coordinator. “We even have some people doing the lot — taking part in the Cocky Count, planting seedlings on their blocks and installing a Cockatube.”
“People love our cockies so much and it gives me hope for their future.”
So far, 17 Cockatubes have been attached to trees on private properties to boost black-cockatoo breeding, as natural hollows are in short supply and are often taken over by other species.
Landowners Sue Overheu and Rob McClymont were so happy to be given a free Cockatube that they bought an extra one to set up.
“We had wanted to install one of these for ages,” said Sue. “In the past, the expense of hiring a cherry picker was an obstacle for us, but with this opportunity, the obstacle was overcome, so we chipped in to get another.”
“We can’t wait to see if our resident red-tails start to breed here.”
Alcoa also distributed 4,000 free cockatoo-friendly native seedlings to its employees this week.
The Alcoa Community Black-Cockatoo Recovery Partnership covers an area stretching from Kwinana and Rockingham, south to Harvey and northern parts of Greater Bunbury, and east to the Pinjarra and Dwellingup areas.
Alcoa of Australia Chairman and Managing Director Michael Parker said that teaming up with employees, Birdlife Australia, landholders and the broader community to help threatened black-cockatoos is a logical extension of the many years Alcoa had invested in understanding and protecting the regular visitors to Western Australia’s Jarrah forest, near its operations.
In spring, workshops will be held to show the general public how to monitor cockatoo breeding hollows and report breeding activities. This important information will be used to protect black-cockatoos.
Adam Peck, Black-Cockatoo Project Coordinator, BirdLife Australia
M: 0401 840 546