NACC NRM is proud to continue to support the vital conservation efforts of various groups working towards monitoring and preserving habitats of the endangered Carnaby Cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus latirostris.
Our Biodiversity Project Officer Sam was extremely lucky to join Rick Dawson and Peter Mawson from the Australia Black Cockatoo Specialists and Dr Denis Saunders, Australian Ornithologist and Black Cockatoo expert, at Coomallo Creek earlier in September. It was a fantastic day of learning with invaluable knowledge shared generously by three leaders of the Carnaby conservation industry.
Coomallo Creek has played a pivotal role in the research of this truly iconic Western Australian endangered species and the recovery of Carnaby populations, with Dr Denis Saunders leading initial investigations since 1970. This year, 2023, marks the 37th year in which invaluable data from this population has been available.
As part of NACC NRM’s contribution to the Coomallo Creek population, 10 artificial hollows were funded and installed in 2021. Currently, there are 82 artificial hollows and 83 natural hollows (known and monitored) available for breeding. This year Rick was happy to report exciting news that 7 of the artificial hollows NACC funded are being used with eggs or nestlings and the other 3 being prospected by females.
The quantity and availability of appropriate nesting hollows are vital to the recovery program for Carnaby’s and unfortunately, the number of natural hollows available is dwindling due to the degradation of aging trees, land clearing, and the availability of the 120-140-year-old woodland tracts previously preferred. In just 3 years 8 natural hollows in the Coomallo area have been lost, making the implementation of artificial hollows integral to the continuing success in this area. Each year an enormous amount of effort goes into the maintenance and upkeep of both natural and artificial hollows to ensure they are cosy and protected. This work includes carting trailer loads of wood chips to fill hollows, repairs to any damage in or around natural hollows, replacement and repair of internal ladders, and replacement of sacrificial posts. At Coomallo, all 165 hollows are monitored to ensure they remain safe and hospitable for new babies.
A very big thank you to Rick for allowing NACC NRM to be part of this fantastic project, we can’t wait to get back out there with you and see how many babies spring brings!