Sep 7
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Endangered Species of the Week: Carnaby’s black-cockatoo

Photo of Carnaby's black-cockatoo feeding

Carnaby’s black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris)

Species: Carnaby’s black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris)

Status: Endangered (EN)

Interesting Fact: Carnaby’s black-cockatoo can potentially live for 40 to 50 years in the wild.

More information:

Carnaby’s black-cockatoo is a large, black cockatoo found only in south-western parts of Western Australia. This species generally breeds in dry eucalypt woodland and forages in nearby heath and scrubland, although it has also adapted to plantations of non-native pines. Its diet consists mainly of seeds, although it also takes some fruit, nectar and insect larvae. Hard fruit cases are crushed in the short, powerful beak to access the seeds inside. Carnaby’s black-cockatoo is a sociable species and may form large flocks outside of the breeding season, when many individuals move to wetter coastal areas. Pairs mate for life and nest in hollows in large eucalypt trees, where they lay clutches of two eggs. Typically, the second chick dies soon after hatching and only one chick is raised.

Carnaby’s black-cockatoo has undergone a significant decline in the last century, vanishing from much of its former range. The main cause of this decline is the widespread clearance, fragmentation and degradation of its habitat. The large trees this species uses for nesting are failing to regenerate due to overgrazing by sheep and rabbits, while the clearance of important feeding habitat around breeding sites means adults have to travel further to find enough food for their chicks. Carnaby’s black-cockatoo is also sometimes illegally captured for the pet trade, and is often killed in collisions with cars. Fortunately, a number of conservation measures are in place to protect this large parrot. Captive breeding is underway, and Carnaby’s black-cockatoo is legally protected in the wild. Key areas of habitat are being protected and restored, and BirdLife Australia runs a survey known as the ‘Great Cocky Count’ to map this species’ populations.

 

Find out more about Carnaby’s black-cockatoo at WWF Australia and the Australian Government.

See images and videos of Carnaby’s black-cockatoo on ARKive.

Liz Shaw, ARKive Text Author

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