WA Museum Cockatoo research in the spotlight

Linette Umbrello's blog | Created 4 years ago

Female and male Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoos perched on a branch preen in s

Female (left) and male (right) Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoos
Photo courtesy of T. Kirkby.

Over the past 17 years the Cockatoo Research Team from the Western Australian Museum has undertaken vital research on three species of endangered black cockatoos in Western Australia.  Two papers in Pacific Conservation Biology (Vol. 19, No. 2) have just been published focusing on the iconic Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii naso), endemic to the south-west corner of WA. Prior to this work almost nothing was known about its breeding biology and habitat preferences. The long-term survival of the Forest Red-tail Black Cockatoo, and indeed its close relative Baudin’s Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus baudinii), is of increasing concern. The loss of feeding and breeding habitat, especially the loss of veteran trees, the impact of exotic species, fire and climate change place these birds at crossroads. This research will assist both State and Federal government agencies in the development of recovery and management plans for the future conservation of these cockatoos.

Ornithologists researching cockatoos in the bush

The Cockatoo Research Team (L to R): Ron Johnstone, Tony Kirkby and Kim Sarti
Image courtesy of C. Johnstone 

For more information on WA’s black cockatoo species see our Cockatoo Care webpages: http://museum.wa.gov.au/explore/online-exhibitions/cockatoo-care

Cover of Pacific Conservation Biology Vol. 19 2013 No. 2

Cover used with permission from M. Calver. Photo by S. Beatty.
Image copyright WA Museum 

Cover of Pacific Conservation Biology Vol. 19 2013 No. 2

Cover used with permission from M. Calver. Photos by T. Kirkby.
Image copyright WA Museum