Mine proposal near park threatens black cockatoo habitat

The Comment News revealed plans for a gravel mine proposal next to the Serpentine Jarrahdale National Park in its December 22 edition last year.

If the mine is approved it could lead to five hectares of endangered black cockatoo habitat being turned into a gravel mine.

It is one of only a few locations where all three protected black cockatoo species have been recorded nesting.

The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale is expected to make a decision on the mine in the coming months.

There are three federally protected species of black cockatoo in WA – Carnaby’s cockatoo, Baudin’s cockatoo and Forest red-tailed black cockatoo.

All are under threat of extinction. Large flocks of the once common bird, have declined drastically due to the destruction of forests, fires, feral European honeybees and other animals taking over their nest hollows.

Huge loss of habitat in the Wheatbelt and Banksia and Tuart woodlands on the Swan Coastal Plain in Perth has also been a big contributing factor to their decline.

Fewer young reach breeding status because of the lengthy process involved to successfully raise fledglings.

Black cockatoos generally lay one or two eggs in a breeding season, but usually only one chick is reared to adulthood.

According to Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Centre in Martin the birds are constantly facing conflicts and fatalities as people move into their territories.

One of the biggest problems has been the clearance of vital feeding and nesting sites.

Seasonal events, including hail storms, drought, flooding and high wind, can have a devastating effect on food sources and young birds.