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The Plants for Carnaby's Search Tool is currently unavailable. Information contained in the app is available by downloading the Plants used by Carnaby's Cockatoo list:

pdfPlants Used by Carnaby's Cockatoo112.04 KB

Carnaby's cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) is found only in the south west corner of Western Australia. Clearing is a major threat to its survival and so revegetation is important to conserving the species for the future. If you are interested in planting to help Carnaby's cockatoo then this search tool will assist you to select the most suitable species.

The Plants for Carnaby's Search Tool enables you to describe your site, purpose for planting or desired plant characteristics and compares this to the features of plants used by Carnaby's cockatoo for feeding, night roosting or nesting. The resulting list of matching species can then be considered in decision making processes or, if for revegetation, can be taken to a plant nursery or other supplier.

The search tool can be used to:

  • Decide on a species list for your revegetation project.
  • Find out what plants Carnaby’s cockatoo feeds on, sleeps in or nests in.
  • Help identify important feeding, night roosting and nesting habitat for Carnaby’s cockatoo.
  • Research characteristics of plants such as compatibility with powerlines, resistance to dieback and tolerance to coastal environments.
Campground hosts WA logo
Photo: Carnaby’s cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris).

The search tool compiles information from numerous published and unpublished sources to provide advice on over 130 species together with more than 100 photographs and serves as a great resource for knowledge.

Click on the image below to go to the search tool. To use the search tool you will need to have Java enabled on your browser and have a Java runtime version of 1.4.2 (1.5 or greater recommended). If you have trouble viewing the tool, please review the system requirements information.


This search tool was constructed using LucID Version 3.5 by Christine Groom, Department of Environment and Conservation.

Funding for Plants for Carnaby's Search Tool Version 2.0 (August 2010) was provided by State Natural Resource Management funds.

We would like to thank the following people and organisations for their help in the construction of the search tool:

  • Dr Peter Mawson (Department of Environment and Conservation)
  • Dr Ken Atkins (Department of Environment and Conservation)
  • Rick Dawson (Department of Environment and Conservation)
  • Tamra Chapman (Department of Environment and Conservation)
  • Chris Dunne (Department of Environment and Conservation)
  • Ron Johnstone (Western Australian Museum)
  • Tony Kirkby (Western Australian Museum)
  • Hugh Finn (Murdoch University)
  • Jessica Lee (Murdoch University)
  • Teagan Johnston (Department of Environment and Conservation)
  • Matt Taylor (Centre for Biological Information Technology, University of Queensland)
  • And all those who kindly provided feedback on the test version of the search tool

Corrections and Omissions

If you find any errors or omissions, or can suggest improvements please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Plants for Carnaby's Search Tool has four windows on the main page.

In the top left window (called "Features available") there is a list of all the characteristics you can choose to select your species. Click on the + symbols to expand (or - to contract) the different sections to see the various options available. Then you simply click on the box next to the feature you wish to select.

For some features there is an image or help text to assist you select the option relevant to your situation. Just click on the icon next to some features to open a separate window with the help text or image (e.g. rainfall zone map).
It is recommended that you begin by exploring the characteristics available and deciding which ones will be of most use in your situation.

The bottom left window (called "Features chosen") summarises which features you have selected in the "Features available" window. This helps you keep track of your selections, but can also be used as a description of the features of your site, which you can then take to a nursery for further advice.

The top right window (called "Entities remaining") shows the species that match the features selected in the "Features available" window. This will be your list of species to plant at your site.

The more features you choose, the less you will see in this window. Be careful in the number of features you select, as you will quickly eliminate everything from this window if you are too selective. However, if you select more than one option (also called a ‘state') within a feature, this will increase the number of species that match your criteria. For example selecting the flower colour of yellow only will result in fewer species that if a flower colour of blue was also selected. This is because you have now added species with blue flowers to the list of species with yellow flowers.

Also, selecting multiple options for some features may be desired where the options are graded. For example, you might want to select high and medium priority species for planting as a food source for Carnaby's and exclude only the low priority species. This will result in a planting list that is as extensive as possible but has eliminated only occasionally used food sources.

In this window you will also see a fact sheet icon next to most species. Click on this to open a profile from FloraBase for that species. Some species will also have a picture icon and clicking on this will open a window for you to browse photos of that species.

The bottom right window (called "Entities discarded") shows species that do not fit the features you have chosen in the "Features available" window.

By selecting and unselecting features you will see species appear and disappear from this window helping you understand the characteristics of individual species. This is particularly useful for features under the "Find out about..." headings. For example, you might want to know which plants that meet your description (as selected under the "Describe..." headings) will be easy to source and which ones will be hard. You can do this by checking and unchecking the relevant boxes.

To help you navigate around the search tool the screenshot below has some useful features labeled. The example shows plants used by Carnaby's black-cockatoo for nesting where the average annual rainfall is 500mm.


Graphic: Shows Carnabys Seach Tool in use with descriptiopns

Warning on the use of some LucID menu options

The LucID software was designed for use in creating taxonomic keys and so some of the menu options are not relevant to the Plants for Carnaby’s Search Tool. These include the options ‘Allow Misinterpretations’, ‘Retain Uncertainties’ and using ‘Best’ mode. If these options are selected the results will not be meaningful.

To the best of our knowledge the information contained in this search tool is correct. Many fields relate to biological characteristics that are influenced by many factors and so the performance of a particular plant may vary in different circumstances.

Plants for Carnaby’s Search Tool is intended to assist the user to compile a list of species most likely to be successfully grown on a given site. It is the responsibility of the user to ensure that the chosen planting site has been accurately assessed to obtain the most accurate and representative site data possible prior to using the search tool.

Plants for Carnaby’s Search Tool is a decision support tool and as such, any decision based on its use remains the sole responsibility of the user. It is recommended that selected species are researched prior to planting and that the use of the tool accompanies a management or restoration plan for the area to maximise chances of success.

This is a list of references from which the list of plants used by Carnaby’s cockatoo was compiled.

Bamford, M.J., Wilcox, J.A. and Davis, R.A. (2004). Worsley Alumina Extension area: northern mining envelopes. Preliminary Fauna Assessment. Unpublished report prepared for Worsley Alumina Pty Ltd by Bamford Consulting Ecologist and Western Wildlife.

Berry, P.F. and Owen, M. (2010). Additional counts and records of flock composition of Carnaby's cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) at two overnight roosting sites in metropolitan Perth. Western Australian Naturalist 27: 27-38.

Burbidge, A. (2003).Carnaby's black-cockatoo foraging. Western Australian Bird Notes, September 2003. 107: 23.

Carter, T. (1923). Birds of Broome Hill. Emu: 23:125-142.

Davies, S.J.J.F. and Loomes, D. (2002). Carnaby's cockatoo - coast and catchment. Final report on the project. Unpublished report for the Moore Catchment Group, WA.

Donaldson, F. (2008). Southern seawater desalinisation project: 2007 terrestrial flora and fauna survey. 360 Environmental Pty Ltd.

Gole, C.A. (2003). Bird surveys in selected Perth metropolitan reserves. A joint biodiversity conservation project between birds Australia and the Perth Biodiversity Project, Perth.

Groom, P.K., Lamont, B.B. and Duff, H.C. (1994). Self-crypsis in Hakea trifurcata as an avian granivore deterrent. Functional Ecology 8(1): 110-117.

Hamsley, V. (2003). Cockatoos foraging. Western Australian Bird Notes, December 2003. 108: 18.

Higgins, P.J. (1999). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds Volume 4: Parrots to Dollarbird. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Jackson, C. (2009). Assessing and quantifying canola crop damage by Carnaby's black-cockatoo Calyptorhynchus latirostris in the south-west of Western Australia. Masters Thesis. University of Sydney.

Johnstone R.E. and Johnstone C. (2003) Assessment of Roadside Vegetation for Breeding and Feeding Habitats of Carnaby's Cockatoo: Dalwallinu - Walebing. October 2003. Biota Environmental Sciences.

Johnstone, R.E., Johnstone, C. and Kirkby, T. (2004). Report on Carnaby's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus latirostris breeding season 2003-2004 within the Cataby Project Area. Prepared for Iluka Resources Limited. Unpublished report.

Johnstone, R.E., Johnstone, C. and Kirkby, T. (2005). Report on Carnaby's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus latirostris nest monitoring within the Cataby Project Area breeding season 2004-2005. Prepared for Iluka Resources Limited. Unpublished report.

Johnstone, R.E., Johnstone, C. and Kirkby, T. (2006). Report on Carnaby's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus latirostris nest monitoring within the Cataby Project Area breeding season 2005-2006. Prepared for Iluka Resources Limited. Unpublished report.

Johnstone, R.E., Johnstone, C. and Kirkby, T. (2007). Report on Carnaby's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus latirostris nest monitoring within the Cataby Project Area breeding season 2006-2007. Prepared for Iluka Resources Limited. Unpublished report.
Johnstone, R.E., Johnstone, C. and Kirkby, T. (2007). Assessment of significant habitat for Carnaby's cockatoo Calyptorhynchus latirostris in the Eneabba region. Unpublished Report prepared for Iluka Resources Ltd. December 2007.

Johnstone, R.E., Johnstone, C. and Kirkby, T. (2008). Report on Carnaby's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus latirostris nest monitoring within the Cataby Project Area breeding season 2007-2008. Prepared for Iluka Resources Limited. Unpublished report.

Johnstone, R.E., Johnstone, C. and Kirkby, T. (2008). Further assessment of significant habitat for Carnaby's cockatoo Calyptorhynchus latirostris in the Eneabba region. Unpublished Report prepared for Iluka Resources Ltd. August 2008.

Johnstone, R.E., Johnstone, C. and Kirkby, T. (2009). Assessment of significant habitat for black cockatoos at proposed wastewater treatment plant, East Rockingham. Unpublished Report.

Johnstone, R.E. and Kirkby, T. (2009). Birds of the Wungong catchment, Bedfordale, Western Australia. Western Australian Naturalist 26: 219-274

Johnstone, R.E. and Kirkby, T. (2008). Carnaby's black-cockatoo in the south-west. Current studies on distribution, status, breeding and movements. p 24-25 In Johnston, T (ed) Carnaby's Black-cockatoo Symposium: Abstracts. Department of Environment and Conservation.

Johnstone, R and Kirkby, T (2010). Carnaby’s Food List. Unpublished Report. Western Australian Museum, Perth

Jupp, T. (2001). Close encounters with Carnaby's. PsittaScene 13(2): 13.

Kenneally, K.F. (2002) Carnaby's Cockatoos Feeding on Liquid Amber. Western Australian Naturalist 23(3): 224-225

Lamont, B.B. and Van Leeuwen S.J. (1988). Seed production and mortality in a rare Banksia species. Journal of Applied Ecology 25(2): 551-559.

Mawson, P.R. (1995). Observations of nectar feeding by Carnaby's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus latirostris. Western Australian Naturalist 20(2): 93-96.

Mead-Hunter, D. (2005). Pied parrot pecks prostrata. Western Australian Bird Notes, June 2005. 114: 24.

Perry, D.H. (1948). Black cockatoos and pine plantations. Western Australian Naturalist 1: 133-135.

Robinson, A. (1965). Feeding notes on the white tailed black cockatoo. Western Australia Naturalist 9: 169-170.

Saunders, D.A. (1974). Sub-speciation in the white-tailed black cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus baudinii, in Western Australia. Australian Wildlife Research 1: 55-69.

Saunders, D.A. (1979) The biology of the short-billed form of the white-tailed black cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus funereus latirostris. PhD Thesis. University of Western Australia.

Saunders, D.A. (1979). The availability of tree hollows for use as nest sites by white-tailed black cockatoos. Australian Wildlife Research 6: 205-216.

Saunders, D.A. (1980). Food and movements of the short-billed form of the white-tailed black cockatoo. Australian Wildlife Research 7: 257-269.

Saunders, D.A. (1986). Breeding season, nesting success and nestling growth in Carnaby's cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus funereus latirostris, over 16 years at Coomallo Creek, and a method for assessing the viability of populations in other areas. Australian Wildlife Research 13: 261-273.

Scott, J.K. and Black, R. (1981). Selective predation by white-tailed black cockatoos on fruit of Banksia attenuata containing seed-eating weevil Alphitopis nivea. Australian Wildlife Research 8: 421-430.

Scott, R (2010). Plants used by Carnaby’s Black-cockatoo, south and south eastern regions. Unpublished Report. Birds Australia.

Shah, B. (2006). Conservation of Carnaby's Black-cockatoo on the Swan Coastal Plain, Western Australia Project Report, Birds Australia Western Australia, Perth.

Valentine, L.E. and Stock, W. (2008). Food resources of Carnaby's black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) in the Gnangara sustainability strategy study area. Report to Forest Products Commission. Centre for Ecosystem Management, Edith Cowan University and the Department of Environment and Conservation, Perth.

van Leeuwen, S.J. and Lamont, B.B. (1996). Floral damage by animals and its impact on reproductive success in Banksia tricuspis Meisner (Proteaceae). In: Hopper, S.D., J.A. Chappill, M.S. Harvey, and A.S. George, eds. Gondwanan Heritage: Past, Present and Future of the Western Australian Biota. PP 196-202. Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton, New South Wales.

Witkowski, E.T.F., Lamont, B.B. and Obbens, F.J. (1994). Commercial picking of Banksia hookeriana in the wild reduces subsequent shoot, flower and seed production. Journal of applied Ecology 31: 508-520.

Witkowski, E.T.F. and Lamont, B.B. (1996). Nutrient losses from commercial picking and cockatoo removal of Banksia hookeriana blooms at the organ, plant and site levels. Journal of applied Ecology 33: 131-140.

The Plants for Carnaby’s Search Tool runs as a Lucid3 Java Applet. The software was developed by the Centre for Biological Information Technology at the University of Queensland in Australia as a tool for making interactive taxonomic keys. Visit the Lucidcentral website for more information on Lucid and Lucid3.

Operating System:
Windows 98/ME/NT(SP6a)/2000(SP3)/XP(SP1)/Vista, Windows 7/Macintosh OS X 10.4 or greater, Linux, Solaris (7, 8, 9 or 10).

System Memory:
256MB RAM (512MB or greater recommended).

The search tool will run embedded within a web browser as a Java Applet. Java Runtime Environment (JRE) version 1.4.2 (1.5 or greater recommended) must be installed on your computer for the Lucid3 Applet Player to run successfully.

You can download and install the latest JRE version from the Java website at

Web browser:
Java-enabled web browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, or Safari.

NOTE: Some web pages attached to items in Lucid3 interactive keys, may be considered pop-ups by some web browsers. If your browser or an add-on application is set to block pop-ups, you may not be able to view all of the content on these pages. Additionally, some web browsers or add-on applications may block "active content" on web pages or interactive keys. Please consult your web browser or add-on application's help file for assistance in disabling pop-up blockers and allowing active content.