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Rex, female Baudin\

Rex, female Baudin's preening Chasey, male Carnaby's cockatoo, Kaarakin, Western Australia © Katherine Howard / WWF-Aus

Lucky the cockatoo flies free after brush with death

04 May 2017

Keywords
  • black cockatoos
  • threatened species
  • western australia

A flock of critically endangered Baudin's black cockatoos, including a young bird named ‘Lucky’, were released back to the wild near Mt Barker by WWF-Australia, Murdoch University, and staff from Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre.

Lucky had been illegally shot out of the sky in December 2015, but was found and brought to Perth Zoo where he was treated for his life-threatening wounds. He then entered a specialised black cockatoo rehabilitation programme at Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre in the Perth Hills, until he was ready to be released.

Six other Baudin's black cockatoos were released at the same time, after making their own recoveries from other shootings, vehicle strikes and illness.The cockatoos had been placed in the same aviary prior to release to help them to form strong bonds with each other and to build up their flight muscles.

Now released, the cockatoos are being tracked by Murdoch University to determine their activities and movements as part of a larger research project on this species.

Associate Professor Kris Warren of Murdoch University, said: “The GPS and satellite trackers will help the researchers at Murdoch University to gain a large amount of movement data and better understand habitat-use at fine-scale and landscape levels.”

Southwest Australia Species Conservation Project Officer, Rebecca Boyland, said: “It was inspiring to see a flock of these endangered birds take flight together back into the wild.”

“The GPS and satellite trackers will help the researchers at Murdoch University know where the birds are travelling throughout the landscape, and also what they’re doing once they land, be it drinking, eating, preening and roosting. This will help the researchers learn which areas are most valuable to these critically endangered birds so we can work to protect these key habitats.”

“With just 10,000 of these birds left in the wild it’s vital that we work to protect them and their habitat. There is still an ongoing issue of illegal shooting that puts birds like Lucky literally in the firing line.”

“X-Rays show Lucky had multiple pellets shot into his small body, so he truly is a lucky bird.”

 

Lucky was shot and found unable to fly in December 2016, Western Australia © Perth Zoo

“WWF supporters raised the money to rehabilitate Lucky and the other birds, as well as pay for their new bling to help the University track them.”

Baudin’s black cockatoos is one of only two species of white-tailed cockatoo in the world, the other being the Carnaby’s black cockatoo. WWF is helping to secure the future of this species by supporting key research and working with the community and partners to prevent the illegal shooting of this species.

If you have found and injured/debilitated black cockatoo in southwest Western Australia please call Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre (08) 93902288.


Further Information:

WWF-Australia Senior Manager News and Public Affairs, Paula Kruger 0407 067 303 pkruger@wwf.org.au



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