On the weekend of the 23rd-24th of October, NACC’s Kahree and Amanda headed down to Gingin and Moora to run the Carnaby Conversation events to engage the NAR community with our Protecting Black Cockatoos project! Both of these events were held on Yued Noongar country, where the Carnaby’s black cockatoo, an important totem animal, is culturally known as Ngoolark.
On both days we heard from five incredible expert speakers. Rick Dawson PSM, Director of Australian Black Cockatoo Specialists, gave us an insight into the cockatoo’s use of hollows and breeding activities, particularly regarding the success of the installation of artificial hollows with NACC funding in Coomallo Nature Reserve. Dr Peter Mawson, DBCA’s and Perth Zoo’s Science Program Leader, talked about the challenges with in-situ conservation and the cost-effectiveness of cockatoo rehabilitation. Sam Clarke, Animal Management and Education Officer at Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Recovery Centre, gave us a talk about the main causes of injured black cockatoo submissions to the Centre and the rehabilitation process. Dr Sam Rycken, WA’s Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo Coordinator at Birdlife Australia spoke about the monitoring activities Birdlife conduct in the south-west to protect these charismatic birds. Our very own Dr Amanda Bourne got everyone up-to-date with NACC’s project monitoring the northernmost Carnaby cockatoo breeding location along the Murchison River in Kalbarri, and Kahree promoted NACC’s financial incentives available to landholders to protect and enhance Carnaby breeding habitat on their own property.
The first event was held at the Gingin Rec Centre on the Saturday, where a diverse group of engaged landholders, curious conservationists, and cockatoo enthusiasts joined in the discussion. After hearing from the speakers, a filling lunch, and a Q&A, a productive brainstorming session was held about how we can go about protecting cockatoos in our own lives. After the Gingin event, the team travelled to Moora and enjoyed a barbecue dinner where we could hear the Carnaby’s calling from the trees overhead.
Early on Sunday morning, Rick and Peter treated us to a hollow search in town to take data on Carnaby nestlings. Day Two was held at the Moora Performing Arts Centre, where a dedicated group of Kaarakin volunteers travelled two hours north to attend the talks and hold a nestling of these endangered, intelligent cockatoos. Sam Rycken also showed the volunteers how Birdlife conduct hollow surveys using a pole camera.
A big thank you goes out to everyone who attended and joined in the conversation, and to our amazing speakers for coming along to share their knowledge and passion about these magnificent birds. We look forward to working together more in the future!
This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government.