Today our Grade 4/5/6 students were lucky enough to hear From Bron Perryman from Birdlife Australia. She works in the conservation of the Red Tailed Black Cockatoo.
The presentation was about the conservation and recovery of the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo, which is one of the region’s most endangered bird species. The South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo is one of five sub-species of Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo to occur in Australia. It is currently listed as nationally endangered and is restricted to the South East of South Australia and South West Victoria. Its natural range covers an area of around 18000km2 from Keith to Mount Gambier in South Australia and Nelson/Portland to Natimuk in western Victoria.
Despite ongoing efforts to recover the sub-species, the single population of around 1500 individuals is believed to be still in decline in response to declining habitat. Unlike the other sub-species, the south-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo is an ecological specialist feeding almost exclusively on the seeds of Desert and Brown stringybark and seasonally on Buloke.
Food shortages are considered to be the biggest threat to the cockatoo, while the availability of nesting hollows, although not currently limiting, is likely to become an important issue in the future as large, dead hollow-bearing trees fall over. Over half of the historic feeding habitat has been cleared, with remaining feeding and nesting habitats at risk of decline and further losses due to ongoing land clearance and reduced productivity (in terms of seed production) due to inappropriate agricultural practices, catastrophic fire, inappropriate burning practices, invasive wood weeds, and impacts of pathogens and pests of food trees.
Since 1997 the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo Recovery Team and BirdLife Australia have been working collaboratively with partner organisations and regional stakeholders to manage and restore critical habitat, reduce key threats and halt the rate of decline.