09 December 2021

Alcoa and BirdLife continue partnership to help much-loved cockies

Photo 2 Cocky Count
BirdLife Project Coordinator Merryn Pryor leads Alcoa volunteers in a Cocky Count citizen science activity.

Demonstrating an ongoing joint commitment to WA’s unique biodiversity, BirdLife Australia and the Alcoa Foundation have announced a renewed three-year partnership to continue the Alcoa Community Black-Cockatoo Recovery Project in Western Australia.

This critical conservation initiative focuses on the threatened Carnaby’s and Baudin’s Black-Cockatoos, which are listed as endangered and found only in WA’s south-west, along with the Forest Red-Tailed Black-Cockatoo, which is listed as vulnerable.

Following an initial three-year partnership of more than $420,000 in 2019, the Alcoa Foundation has committed about $610,000 further through until 2024. The announcement was made on Tuesday (9 December) at Birdlife WA’s 2021 Black-Cockatoo Symposium held in Mandurah.

The symposium heard how land use changes have dramatically impacted Black-Cockatoos through the loss of food and habitat and the various efforts underway to better understand and assist the birds’ ongoing survival and recovery.

Through the Alcoa Community Black-Cockatoo Recovery Project, the community participates in conservation efforts and learns how to support these iconic birds.

BirdLife WA Black-Cockatoo Project Coordinator Merryn Pryor said the new three-year partnership would allow BirdLife to build on the scientific knowledge and community support attained since 2019.

“Between 2022 to 2024, the Alcoa Community Black-Cockatoo Recovery Project will continue to engage the community through educational workshops, plantings, and citizen science projects including the Great Cocky Count, Cocky Watch and an expanded Spring Cocky Count,” said Ms Pryor.

“Also, an innovative solution to deter Black-Cockatoos from feeding on and damaging fruit and nut crops will also be trialed.”

Alcoa Foundation Australian Lead Suellen Jerrard said the partnership built on Alcoa’s commitment to working alongside the community for the good of the environment.

“At Alcoa, we are committed to the protection of Western Australia’s unique biodiversity. For this reason, we are proud to partner with BirdLife Australia and build on our efforts to better understand and protect threatened species, in and around the areas where we operate,” said Mrs Jerrard.  

Since 2019, the project has lifted awareness about the plight of the Black-Cockatoo, collected important data, and rebuilt connections in the landscape from Kwinana in the north, south to Bunbury and east to Dwellingup.

To date, there have been:

  • 14 community planting days
  • 25,000 seedlings planted
  • 40 hectares revegetated
  • 6 citizen science activities
  • 24 artificial nests installed
  • 500 roost sites monitored

These efforts are already starting to make a difference with multiple Black-Cockatoo chicks sighted in artificial nests.

“As preservation efforts continue, these birds will be able to raise their own chicks, and feed on locally planted food stocks, all while being watched over by a dedicated community invested in their survival,” Ms Pryor said.

To view more detail about the Alcoa Community Black Cockatoo Recovery Project, please view this video and flyer or visit the BirdLife Australia webpage.