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A ray of hope for Carnaby's Cockatoo

Angela Sanders (Ecologist)
Published 19 Jun 2019 by Angela Sanders (Ecologist)

Carnaby's Cockatoos are returning to restored farmland in Western Australia to feed just five years after planting.

These raucous birds were photographed recently tearing into Cauliflower Hakeas (Hakea corymbosa) that were planted especially for them in 2013.

Food for cockatoos was high on the list of plant species to include in the seed mix at Monjebup North in south-west Western Australia where Bush Heritage is working to reconnect large areas of bushland for fauna.

Between 2011 and 2014 just over 400 hectares of grazing and cropping land was reseeded with locally sourced native plant species.

Our monitoring programme is documenting the return of fauna to this recreated habitat and seeing the Carnaby's feeding with gusto makes all the hard work worthwhile.

This is one of those milestones we’ve been aiming for – seeing Carnaby’s Cockatoos feeding in the restoration for the first time.

Our wonderful donor Eva Palmer, and subsequently WA State NRM, have over several years from 2015 funded the establishment of many hectares of dense proteaceous vegetation at Monjebup specifically as forage for Carnaby’s Cockatoos.

We’re keeping a close eye on that, knowing that it won’t be long now before the cockatoos are using the bountiful food basket Eva’s donation has allowed us to establish especially for them and as the vegetation develops we hope they'll keep returning to what could be a prime feeding ground for them for a long time to come.

A pair of Carnaby' Cockatoo feeding on Cauliflower Hakea A pair of Carnaby' Cockatoo feeding on Cauliflower Hakea
Carnaby's Cockatoo tear into Cauliflower Hakea seeds Carnaby's Cockatoo tear into Cauliflower Hakea seeds
A flock of 60 Carnaby's Cockatoo feeding in 5-year-old restoration. A flock of 60 Carnaby's Cockatoo feeding in 5-year-old restoration.

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