News and media statements

All Parks and Wildlife Service news items and media statements produced after mid-August 2019 are available on the new departmental website .

Drivers urged to watch for black cockatoos

Perth motorists are being advised to be aware of flocks of endangered Carnaby’s cockatoos gathering on roadsides to feed and drink.

Department of Parks and Wildlife senior wildlife officer Rick Dawson said many Carnaby’s have returned from the Wheatbelt with their fledglings and were moving along the Swan Coastal Plain in search of permanent food and water.

“During February and March there is usually an increase in the number of black cockatoo deaths resulting from vehicle strikes,” he said.

“Already this year, 34 black cockatoos have required treatment at Perth Zoo after being injured in the metropolitan area but we know that many more are hit by vehicles and never reported to the department.

“As a large-winged bird, black cockatoos usually take off into the wind often putting them in the path of vehicles, so we ask that motorists slow down safely when they see a black cockatoo and approach with caution.

“We encourage people to report injured cockatoos to Parks and Wildlife to ensure they are attended to quickly, increasing their chances of being successfully rehabilitated. We would also like to know of any black cockatoo deaths because their DNA can assist with further research into the species.”

In the last two years 112 black cockatoos have required treatment after possibly being struck by a vehicle in the metropolitan area, and of these half have died.

Mr Dawson said additional road signs alerting drivers of black cockatoo hotspots were being installed near Parks and Wildlife’s offices in Kensington, which is located near a known roost site.

“There are nine known roost sites extending from Baldivis to Yanchep and more than 500 black cockatoos use these areas,” he said.

“The species is attracted to these spots due to the availability of food, nearby water sources, and large trees that allow them to roost in safety.”

Injured black cockatoos are assessed and initially treated before being placed into the care of approved specialist rehabilitators and released where possible.

When picking up injured black cockatoos, a towel or cloth should be placed over the bird to reduce the risk of injury from their powerful bill. They should then be placed in a dark box and taken to a wildlife rehabilitation centre or to a local vet who will arrange for it to be collected. Sick, injured or dead black cockatoos can be reported to the nearest Parks and Wildlife office or the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.

 

Media contact: DPaW Media 9219 9999