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Broken system driving species towards extinction


A new report released by BirdLife Australia today reveals another of Australia's endangered birds, Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo, is sliding towards extinction as national environment laws continue to fail to protect the plants and animals that need them most.

For the eighth consecutive year, BirdLife Australia has released its Great Cocky Count report, documenting the decline of one of Australia's most iconic birds, where around Perth, numbers of Carnaby's continue to fall dramatically. It’s estimated this population has nearly halved since 2010.

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Black-cockatoos are loved by many Australians

Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo is one of just two species of white-tailed black-cockatoos in the world. They are found only in the South West of Western Australia. These charismatic birds can live up to 30 years in the wild. Males and females pair for life, often returning to the exact same tree hollows each year to raise young. They are one of Australia’s most loved backyard birds and are a familiar sight in and around Perth.


Carnaby's are disappearing from Perth's skies


We already know that Perth’s Carnaby’s are in trouble. The Great Cocky Count has revealed a steady decline in Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo numbers - on average 10% per year since 2010. If this trend is allowed to continue, Perth’s Carnaby’s may soon disappear entirely from Perth’s skies. A bird synonymous with the South West, gone forever. Without drastic action, the window of opportunity to save this charismatic bird is rapidly closing.

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Pine plantations a critical life source 

The relentless expansion of Perth suburbs has removed bushland that has traditionally supported black-cockatoos and other native animals. In the face of this destruction, Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo, a true Aussie Battler, has adapted to feeding in the pine plantations around Perth. Almost two thirds of Perth’s Carnaby’s now depend on the Gnangara Pine Plantation for food and shelter, but this plantation is also being cleared without suitable replacement. The former WA Government’s ‘Green Growth Plan’ proposes to significantly accelerate this clearance. Under this Plan, by 2020, it would all be gone.

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Our last chance to act


As it stands, the ‘Green Growth Plan’ threatens the very survival of Perth’s charismatic Carnaby’s population. The former WA Government acknowledged the plan would directly result in the population of Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos in the region falling by another 50%. If the Plan goes ahead, it will likely spell the end of for Perth’s Carnaby’s. This would be a national disgrace and a blow to all Australians. We know what we need to do to save this species, but we are fast approaching the point of no return. BirdLife Australia looks forward to working with the new State Government to improve the plan to ensure no net loss of Carnaby's feeding habitat in the Perth-Peel region.

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Their fate hangs in the balance

Fortunately, the actions required to save this iconic West Australian are well known. To halt the decline, any development in the Perth and Peel Region must ensure protection of roost sites and feeding habitat. It is essential that native habitat is protected, and harvested pines replaced with habitat of equivalent value. Without action to immediately halt the destruction of Carnaby’s habitat, the population of this magnificent cockatoo around Perth will soon be lost forever.

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  • I am from South Australia, during my last visit to WA, I spent time walking in the forests admiring these wonderful birds. It would be a terrible thing if on my next trip there are no Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos.
    — Denise, South Australia
  • We do not want to be remembered by our grandchildren as the generation who allowed the destruction of more habitat and the continued decline of yet another Aussie species.
    — Chris, Queensland
  • This bird is a fascinating, entertaining and vocal species and loved by all - a special bird to have in one's own yard or local area. It would be a great loss if this species disappears from our landscape altogether and would reflect poorly on our government and our nation as a whole.
    — Margaret, New South Wales
  • If we no longer hear the haunting and beautiful cry "Maria, Maria....." echoing through our land from these exquisite birds, it will be a tragedy indeed. Please make their protection a priority before it's too late.
    — Penny, Western Australia
  • By continuous land clearing, we are robbing future Western Australians of the opportunity to share their natural environment with the majestic Carnaby's Black Cockatoo. These birds are simply beautiful.
    — Diana, Western Australia
  • Another distressing count of our native animals. How many do we have to lose? Let's do our best for these birds by, at the very least, protecting the small amount of habitat that they have left.
    — Deborah , New South Wales
  • This intelligent, long-lived bird has so much charisma. It will be greatly to our shame if it becomes extinct in the wild.
    — Gillian, Victoria
  • It brings a smile to my face whenever I see or hear the Carnaby's Black- Cockatoos. They are so beautiful and so West Australian, it breaks my heart when I hear that they will become extinct.
    — Beverley, Western Australia
  • The decline of this species is yet another symptom of the larger issue of land clearing, habitat fragmentation and loss of biodiversity in Australia. We have done enough damage to the natural landscape already. Please halt any further native vegetation clearance.
    — Mike, South Australia
  • I grew up around Dongara and Geraldton and remember these birds well in their season. They and Baudin's Cockatoo were always a sight to behold, and part of the natural identity of the sand plains.
    — Bruce, New South Wales
  • I took part in the last Great Cocky Count and can verify that there are very few of these birds now left. It is imperative that we make efforts to protect their remaining habitats before the beautiful birds and others like them are lost forever.
    — Rob, Western Australia
  • Having participated in many Great Cocky Counts and in events publicizing these birds, I know that it is URGENT to look at their environment and stop the destruction. We can’t bring them back.
    — Jennifer, Western Australia
  • These birds are beautiful. The world would be a poorer place without them...I have seen every species of cockatoo in Australia except for Carnaby's and Baudin's Black Cockatoo, and I would not want to be deprived of the experience of seeing these intelligent, wonderful creatures.
    — John, New South Wales
  • Can we not preserve these larrikins of the air, squawking and jostling their way over Perth? Most Westralians I know love them. Please do not clear their pine forest nesting sites.
    — Sarah, Western Australia
  • These magnificent birds are part of our cultural heritage. They play an important part in both enriching the lives of all Western Australian's who are privileged to see them, and in the greater landscapes they inhabit.
    — Kate, Western Australia

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