Call goes out to help count cockatoos

Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times

Birdlife WA is calling on Capes residents to get involved with a new citizen science project to help gather information on black cockatoos throughout the South West.

The information gathered through the CockyWatch project — which was launched at the end of January — will help determine populations of Baudin’s, Carnaby’s and forest red-tailed black cockatoos.

Birdlife South West black-cockatoo project co-ordinator Rebecca Boyland said while WA’s black cockatoos were threatened at a State and national level, there were no scientifically defensible estimates of population size for all species. She said it was a problem which had plagued cockatoo researchers for decades.

“Black cockatoos can easily travel across the landscape — this actually makes it difficult to count how many cockatoos there are,” she said.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


“We’re asking people to drive, ride or walk along a road or path, noting down details about black cockatoos seen.

“This will provide us with the much-needed information to learn more about the population of black cockatoos in the South West.”

Ms Boyland said the survey — run by BirdLife Australia in partnership with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions — could be undertaken at any time and on any day of the year but sightings of cockatoos seen before or after the CockyWatch trip could not be used.

To participate, download the instructions and data sheet from birdlife.org.au/cockywatch.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails