Join in endangered cockatoo count

Carnaby’s black cockatoos.
Carnaby’s black cockatoos.

Volunteers will gather at the ‘super roosts’ and at Gnangara, Pinjar and Yanchep pine plantations to count the endangered Carnaby’s black cockatoo and the Forest red-tailed cockatoo as part of an annual census.

Birdlife Australia is overseeing the sunset ‘snapshot’ of roosting sites by more than 450 volunteers from Geraldton to Esperance.

Cocky count co-ordinator Hugh Finn said the local mix of sites was important given the large number of cockies attracted to the areas.

‘The census is very important for the conservation of both species,’ he said.

The 2013 single-night count revealed fewer cockies than three years ago, mainly due to clearing of pine plantations.

Volunteers counted 5800 cockies, 44 per cent up on 2012 but down by 14 per cent on the 6700 birds recorded in 2010.

Numbers have decreased by almost 50 per cent since 1970 due to loss of habitat, collision with vehicles and illegal poaching and shooting.

Natural Resource Management Perth region is funding this year’s Great Cocky Count through the Federal Government’s Caring for our Country program.

Yanchep National Park needs counting helpers from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. To help, call Ciara or Naomi on 9303 7759.