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Carnaby's black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) Kings Lynn Rise, Mindarie, Western Australia © Sue Court / aussiebirdlife.com

Volunteers to plant thousands of black cockatoo food trees this Sunday

24 Jul 2015

Keywords
  • black cockatoos
  • climate change
  • protected areas
  • western australia

To celebrate National Tree Day this Sunday, WWF-Australia, with the help of supporters and volunteers, will be planting 3,000 black cockatoo food trees at the Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s Karakamia Wildlife Sanctuary in the state’s southwest.

WWF spokesperson Shenaye Hummerston said planting food trees like banksias, marri and sheoaks would help to bring black cockatoos back from the brink after a dramatic decline in bird populations in recent years.
“Black cockatoos are well-loved in Western Australia with their characteristic haunting cries and big personalities but they are also under serious threat,” said WWF-Australia’s Threatened Species Conservation Officer, Shenaye Hummerston.

“Black cockatoos have lost many of their food trees and homes after many years of land clearing for agriculture and continuing urban development. We need to act now to save these amazing birds from extinction and planting food trees is one way to help do this.”

Two species of black cockatoo - Carnaby’s and Baudin’s white-tailed black cockatoos - are found only in the internationally-renowned biodiversity hotspot known as Southwest Australia. Karakamia Wildlife Sanctuary, named for the red-tailed black cockatoo (“karak”), is home to all three threatened species of black cockatoos.

Southwest Australia has the highest concentration of rare and endangered species in Australia and is considered one of 34 global biodiversity hotpots but land clearing for agriculture and urban development, along with introduced species, have exacted a huge toll.

“The loss of habitat not only affects the availability of black cockatoo nesting hollows but also food availability. Loss of food is a major contributor to black cockatoo decline,” Ms Hummerston said.

“We’d love all the help we can get at Karakamia Wildlife Sanctuary on Sunday but if people can’t get there, they can still help by planting black cockatoo food trees in their own backyards  or to join a ‘Friends Group’ to help look after cockatoo habitat.”

WWF is urging people to visit the National Tree day website (www.treeday.planetark.org) for more details of the planting day.

WWF-Australia Media Contact:
Charlie Stevens, Senior Communications Officer

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