Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre to expand education program


Kathy Dewhurst and Julie Loxton at Kaarakin Cockatoo Conservation Centre.
Kathy Dewhurst and Julie Loxton at Kaarakin Cockatoo Conservation Centre.

KAARAKIN Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre is “ecstatic” to have secured grant money to bolster its education department.

The not-for-profit organisation was awarded a $20,000 grant earlier this year that will significantly boost the centre’s education program.

The facility acts as a rehabilitation centre for injured black cockatoos before re-releasing them into the wild.

All three species of black cockatoo in Western Australia – Carnaby’s black cockatoo, Baudin’s cockatoo and Forest red tailed black cockatoo – are all under threat of extinction.

Kaarakin volunteer co-ordinator Kathy Dewhurst said the grant was a “godsend” and would expand its education program.

“It will enable us to go out to the schools and speak to them about the plight of the cockatoos,” she said.

“Funding the staff is something we have trouble doing, but now (education officer) Julie Loxton is fixed as part of the grant, she can start planning what she’s doing.

“She can supervise groups coming out here, she can give them a talk, they can do some work around the grounds, cleaning out aviaries, weeding, learning about other conservation and re-vegetation and how it inter-mingles.”

Miss Loxton said the education program was vital to the continued existence of the black cockatoo.

“It’s great seeing the kids react to the birds, you can tell them a lot of stuff and they’ll understand it, but once they see the bird, it connects a bit more,” she said.

Ms Dewhurst said urban sprawl and development threatened the bird’s existence but the public could help.

“It’s really important we get the natives back into gardens, like banksias in the front garden, hakeas and bird baths that are secure from pets.”

In addition to the grant, the centre is hosting a fundraising event on Saturday May 13 and Sunday May 14, where they will be giving guided tours of the facility.

For more visit https://www.blackcockatoorecovery.com.