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Carnaby's Black Cockatoo
Zoo location: 
Scientific Name: 
Calyptorhynchus latirostris
Phylum: 
CHORDATA
Species class: 
Aves
Order: 
Psittaciformes
Genus: 
Calyptorhynchus
Species: 
latirostris
Status: 
Endangered
Population Trend: 
Decreasing
Distribution Map: 
Distribution map - Carnaby's Black Cockatoo

The Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) are endemic to Western Australia, meaning that they are found nowhere else in the world. Once numerous, the charismatic and highly mobile Carnaby’s Black- Cockatoo is now classified in Western Australia as ‘rare or likely to become extinct’ and is federally listed as Endangered. The last 50 years has seen a 50% decline in their population, and their range has been reduced by up to one-third. The main cause of their decline is loss of breeding habitat.

These cockatoos only nests in hollows of large, old, mainly Eucalypt trees. Much of the breeding habitat for the Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo now occurs on private land in agricultural areas of Western Australia. Breeding hollows and trees often occur in areas of remnant bush or paddock trees on farms and may be lost through tree senescence, clearing for tracks and firebreaks, stock activity, or fire. Feeding habitat in native bush on farms is often lost or degraded through similar processes.

Because cockatoos are long lived birds (up to 50 years) and they raise few chicks to adulthood, it is highly likely that the birds we see today are an ageing population. Therefore, it is essential that we protect remaining habitat as well as the birds themselves for the survival of the species 

Region: 
Conservation information: 

Since 2003, BirdLife Australia has been working with landholders, land managers and local communities to protect critical habitat for the Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo. In partnership with Natural Resource Management groups, and the Department of Environment and Conservation, BirdLife Western Australia is working towards implementing recovery actions and securing a future for this iconic species. The recovery actions include:

  • Identification and prioritization of nesting sites for recovery actions;
  • Data collection and monitoring;

  • Community engagement programs and education;

  • Supporting private landholder to preserve and restore priority remnant vegetation;

  • Provision of funds to support fencing, revegetation, weed control and competitor control

  • Repairing damaged or degraded nesting hollows which are later monitored and checked to evaluate if the Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo are using them. 

Future Goals

The project aims to change landholder behaviour by working with farmers to identify a valuable natural resources and assets that they possess – nesting, housing and feeding habitats for Carnaby’s Cockatoos – and then to determine appropriate actions to conserve these.

Expected outcomes of this partnership are that 10-15 landholders will be involved in the project. Considering an average of 3 nest sites per land-holding that would equal 30-45 nests identified per year. As some hollows are used by more than one pair across a breeding season, the project should benefit more than 30 breeding pairs per year.

Taronga's Involvement

Taronga established a 3-year partnership with BirdLife Australia to support the recovery project of the Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo. Taronga’s support will assist in the better protection of breeding sites on private properties and provide on-the- ground examples of how farmers can protect breeding habitat for Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo.

Taronga’s vision is to “Secure a shared future for wildlife and people”. Taronga supports threatened wildlife both in Australia and around the world.