Carnaby’s black cockatoos released at Yanchep

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A rehabilitated Carnaby’s black cockatoo has a leg band put in place before being released at Yanchep National Park.

EIGHT Carnaby’s black cockatoos were released in Yanchep National Park on Thursday, May 18.

Native Animal Rescue black cockatoos team leader Michael Jones said all black cockatoos which the rescue centre received went to the Perth Zoo’s veterinary department for a complete assessment and treatment before they returned to the centre to fully recover before they were finally released.

After their check up and treatment at Perth Zoo the black cockatoos are put in the rescue centre’s flight path aviary which is the last stage of their rehabilitation before they are released.

“This area is for the birds to build back up their flight strength and ability and to form a smaller flock amongst themselves which is beneficial with survival and also for companionship for when they are released,’’ he said.

“The most common injuries we find are bone fractures such as in the wings and head trauma as a result from vehicle strikes.’’

Mr Jones said some birds were found with pellet shots in them and one of the birds released at Yanchep had been found with pellets in it.

The rescue centre works with the Department of Parks and Wildlife to   leg band and take DNA from the birds before they are released.

He said the DNA data could be used in the future if someone with a black cockatoo in their possession said it was a pet when it was taken from a nest, which was poaching.

Birdlife Australia said it was estimated in the last 50 years the population of Carnaby’s black cockatoos has declined by 50 per cent and their range had been reduced by up to one-third.

The Birdlife Australia website says as 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,’’ the website said.’’

Some of the threats to the Carnaby’s black cockatoo include land clearing for urban development in metropolitan coastal areas, removing feeding and roosting vegetation, historical and on-going land clearing for agriculture in regional nesting areas, removing nesting trees, food sources and important flyways, competition for nesting hollows from species such as galah, corella and feral bees, poaching for illegal sale of birds and road strike.

Mr Jones said the Native Animal Rescue’s black cockatoo team members were all volunteers.

“While the birds are recovering from their injuries, our volunteers on a daily basis clean out the aviaries, provide fresh food such as natural foliage like they would be eating in the wild, fresh water and monitor them to see how well they are recovering,’’ he said.