BirdLife Australia worried about clearing of Carnaby’s black cockatoo habitat in Pinjar Pine Plantation

The Pinjar Pine Plantation is being cleared to reduce groundwater consumption. Picture: Birdlife Australia.
The Pinjar Pine Plantation is being cleared to reduce groundwater consumption. Picture: WWF/Pixel Pilot
The Pinjar Pine Plantation is being cleared to reduce groundwater consumption. Picture: Birdlife Australia. The Pinjar Pine Plantation is being cleared to reduce groundwater consumption. Picture: WWF/Pixel Pilot

BIRDLIFE Australia has aired concerns about clearing Carnaby’s black cockatoo habitat in the Pinjar Pine Plantation.

Carnaby’s black-cockatoo project co-ordinator Adam Peck used Facebook live video to highlight the organisation’s concerns about the scale of clearing underway.

The video also promoted BirdLife’s change.org petition to end logging of all known roost sites on Crown land, which has been signed by more than 3600 people in two weeks.

Mr Peck said the group was concerned that the Forestry Products Commission would continue clearing the trees, which cockatoos use for roosting and foraging, if the State Government did not act quickly.

“The first thing we would like is a halt to the clearing of this area until they have a long term plan for the protection of the local Carnaby’s population,” he said.

“We were told that no known Carnaby’s roost would be cleared, and the second largest roost has been cleared.”

Mr Peck said the Great Cocky Count in April found about 900 of the endangered birds in that site, compared to about 1200 counted there in 2016.

He said BirdLife also wanted 40 mature trees retained per hectare, which would reduce the groundwater consumption and be viable to meet the birds’ needs.

“We realise that there are competing interests that need to be considered,” he said.

Acknowledging pines were not a natural habitat for the cockatoos, Mr Peck said the birds had evolved due to clearing of native plant species.

“Because of the loss of banksia woodland, they have replaced a lot of that part of their diet with pine cones,” he said.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the State Government recognised the need to recover the state’s threatened species and improve their conservation status.

Mr Dawson said it would work with the community, non-government organisations and industry to achieve that.

“The removal of pine plantations is being considered under an Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) Strategic Assessment of the Perth and Peel Regions,” he said.

“The State Government is being briefed on the Strategic Assessment of the Perth and Peel Regions and will consider it in the context of Metronet and other priorities.

“Actions already undertaken to date to protect WA’s three species of black cockatoo include the purchase of more than 25,000ha of Carnaby’s cockatoo habitat for inclusion in the conservation estate, rehabilitation of other habitat, support for wildlife carers looking after sick and injured cockatoos and research into black cockatoo movements and habitat use in the South West.

“Parks and Wildlife has been working with BirdLife Australia, Murdoch University and other stakeholders to better understand population trends, movement patterns and roost and food availability for Carnaby’s cockatoo.

“This information will continue to inform a strategic approach to maintaining essential food resources for Carnaby’s cockatoos.”

For more visit BirdLife on Facebook or click here.

MORE: Pinjar: nearly 5000 Carnaby’s black-cockatoos to be cleared under State Govt plan

MORE: Man who was told he would never walk or talk again completes 2100km bike ride along WA coast for Telethon

MORE: Police search for man who hit child in Balga park

MORE: Award-winning florist remembers her Vietnamese heritage

MORE: Cleaner Communities: full list of Perth cafes offering a discount for reusable coffee cups