Cockatoo population protection a priority

City of Cockburn’s Linda Metz with Brendan Champness and Luke Musgrave of ExxonMobil.
City of Cockburn’s Linda Metz with Brendan Champness and Luke Musgrave of ExxonMobil.

Mr Fossey spoke to the Gazette following the release of BirdLife’s 2013 Great Cocky Count, which revealed the total number of Carnaby’s in the greater Perth region had increased 44 per cent (3871 to 5591 cockatoos) from 2012 to 2013, although that figure was still below what it was in 2010.

‘The increased numbers in 2013 were focused in the northern suburbs and Northern Swan Coastal Plain areas,’ Mr Fossey said.

‘Numbers recorded in southern suburbs’ sub-region, including areas in Cockburn, have been in decline since 2010.’

Mr Fossey said another point of interest was how the cockatoos were utilising some of the best-monitored metro roosts.

‘No cockatoos were counted at the roost site at Manning Lake this year, while 215 birds were present in 2012. Just over one km away, 323 cockatoos roosted at Pearce and Beale Parks in Spearwood, a site that previously contained few roosting cockatoos.

This shows the birds shift between roost sites and highlights the need to monitor as many sites as possible to pick up movements between roosts and protect sites,’ he said.