Conservation project helping endangered South West black cockatoos gets $600,000 boost

Headshot of Ailish Delaney
Ailish DelaneySouth Western Times
Email Ailish Delaney
The South West is home to three types of threatened black cockatoos.
Camera IconThe South West is home to three types of threatened black cockatoos. Credit: TerriAnneAllen/Pixabay (user TerriAnneAllen)

A critical conservation initiative protecting endangered and vulnerable black cockatoos will continue for another three years after more than $600,000 was committed to its extension.

The South West is home to Carnarby’s and Baudin’s black cockatoos and the forest red-tailed black cockatoo subspecies, all three of which are at risk of extinction.

Populations have declined by 50 per cent in the past 45 years as they deal with habitat fragmentation and loss of native food sources, according to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

BirdLife WA has been spearheading a regional recovery program, in partnership with the Alcoa Foundation, to educate communities on how to support the birds and take part in conservation efforts.

The groups last week announced Alcoa’s $610,000 commitment to extending the Alcoa Community Black Cockatoo Recovery Project for another three years to continue to raise awareness about the plight of the black cockatoo and gather important data.

Alcoa apprentices Zoe Blechynden and Holly Snell volunteer to plant seedlings alongside BirdLife WA Black-Cockatoo Project Coordinator Merryn Pryor as part of the Alcoa Community Black-Cockatoo Recovery Project.
Camera IconAlcoa apprentices Zoe Blechynden and Holly Snell volunteer to plant seedlings alongside BirdLife WA Black-Cockatoo Project Coordinator Merryn Pryor as part of the Alcoa Community Black-Cockatoo Recovery Project. Credit: BirdlifeWA/BirdlifeWA

BirdLife WA black cockatoo project co-ordinator Merryn Pryor said the new partnership would allow them to build on the scientific knowledge and community support attained since the project launched in 2019, and trial a new solution to deter the birds from feeding on and damaging fruit and nut crops.

The project has seen six citizen science activities undertaken so far, 14 community planting days of 25,000 seedlings, 40 hectares revegetated and 500 roost sites monitored — all of which are considered to be making an impact, with BirdLife WA recording several black cockatoo chicks in artificial nests.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails