Great Cocky Count Covers New Ground

Sunday 14 April officially marked the 2024 Great Cocky Count!

Data collected through the Great Cocky Count, WA’s largest citizen science survey, helps researchers to gain a better understanding of Carnaby’s population numbers, roosting behaviours, and flock locations within our region and beyond.

NACC NRM’s Biodiversity Project Officer Sam Comito led the way this year, facilitating a Great Cocky Count workshop at the NACC NRM Enterprise Hub! Around 20 keen attendees heard from guest speaker, Dr Sam Rycken of Birdlife Australia, who spoke about the plight of the endangered Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo.

Dr Sam Rycken presenting to a captivated audience

Dr Rycken delivered an informative presentation to our captivated audience, discussing the critical factors that have caused the Carnaby’s Cockatoos to become endangered. He also explained the importance of initiatives like the Great Cocky Count, as they provide information about the locations of a variety of black cockatoos, specifically Carnaby’s in the Northern Agricultural Region (NAR).

The NAR is home to the most northern extents of Carnaby’s habitat, with populations found as far north as Murchison House Station in Kalbarri. NACC NRM is proud to have been involved in considerable research efforts, undertaking annual monitoring of these iconic cockatoos and their breeding success.

After hearing from Dr Rycken and soaking up his valuable knowledge, workshop attendees replenished their energy with an afternoon tea, before heading out for an evening of cocky counting!

A crackle of Carnaby’s cockatoos spotted soaring into the sunset

NACC NRM’s Biodiversity team was lucky to have had plenty of help from dedicated volunteers this year, conducting monitoring from Chapman Valley through to Arrowsmith! Not only were two sites monitored by NACC NRM staff and volunteers, but we also had additional remote locations monitored by property owners – how cool? By employing this divide and conquer method, the team was able to cover a much larger range, and in turn, collect valuable data for Birdlife Western Australia regarding potential new roost sites within our region.

The dedicated volunteers who helped out at the Chapman Valley monitoring site

NACC NRM extends our thanks to everyone involved in this year’s Great Cocky Count! Thank you to all the landholders, Mitsui E&P and Beach Energy, for allowing us to undertake this critical survey, and thank you to our dedicated volunteers for always providing a helping hand! Thank you to Dr Sam Rycken of Birdlife Australia for an awesome presentation, and also to everyone who attended the workshop; we hope you got a lot out of the session.

This project is jointly funded by the Australian Government Natural Heritage Trust and NACC NRM, a member of the Commonwealth Regional Delivery Partners panel, and Mitsui E&P and Birdlife WA.

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1 comment

Awesome job by everyone for these charismatic amazing birds…..thank you everyone you rock …. Providing endless opportunity for these special birds to fly forever into the future ……. Special thanks to both Sam’s too … Sam from NACC for organising and Sam from birdlife for sharing his knowledge and passion 🪶🪶🪶🪶🪶

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