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Rare cockatoo chicks emerge from burnt bushland on Kangaroo Island

Date: 03-Jun-20
Author: Liam Taylor

Kangaroo Island is the only place in Australia this particular sub-species of glossy black-cockatoo can be found. Image: Didier B (Sam67fr)/CC

Kangaroo Island is the only place in Australia this particular sub-species of glossy black-cockatoo can be found. Image: Didier B (Sam67fr)/CC

Glossy black-cockatoo chicks hatched last month on Kangaroo Island despite the summer's devastating bushfires, boosting hopes the endangered species can be saved from extinction.

Staff from natural resources management agency Natural Resources Kangaroo Island have already discovered 23 chicks in the process of conducting nest inspections, including several in areas significantly damaged by the bushfires. The appearance of healthy chicks is a big win for conservationists on the island, who had feared the fires could decimate the island’s small population.

The population of glossy black-cockatoos on Kangaroo Island was estimated at around 370 cockatoos prior to the bushfires. Up to 75 per cent of this population lived within the 210,000-hectare area that was burnt, sparking fears for the future of the species.

“It’s amazing to see that glossies have continued to nest in places like Middle River and DeMole River where there’s some food trees that survived the flames,” Karleah Berris from Natural Resources Kangaroo Island told WWF Australia.

“We’re keeping a very close eye on those nests to ensure they’ve got enough food to keep the nestlings going until fledging.”

Whilst the appearance of these chicks is encouraging, there remains much work to be done to regenerate the birds’ natural habitat since loss of feeding habitat was already a concern prior to bushfires. Glossy black-cockatoos feed almost exclusively on the seeds of sheoak trees. Plans are currently being made to plant thousands of shoak trees in the coming months as well as replace artificial nest boxes lost in the fires.


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Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia. Joining the communications team at Planet Ark, he hopes to inspire positive environmental behaviour through effective and positive messaging.

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