The forest red-tailed black cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii naso is listed as Vulnerable under WA state and Commonwealth environment legislation.
In the latest issue of Pacific Conservation Biology, Ron Johnstone et al. from the Western Australian Museum have published the first detailed description of this species nest requirements and breeding behaviour.
They found a 16.6% fall rate of known nest trees within a decade, suggesting that loss of suitable tree hollows very likely outweighs recruitment. Further, marri tree Corymbia calophylla, a primary feeding and breeding resource, is currently experiencing tree decline caused by disease and borer attack. Research into the impact of tree decline on cockatoo feeding, roosting and breeding behaviour is needed.
“The destruction and degradation of breeding and feeding habitat, the overexploitation of veteran trees, the impact of exotic species, the expansion of superabundant native species, fire and climate change place these birds at the crossroads.”
This 17-year study is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of this long-lived, mobile species.
Check out the latest issue of PCB to find out more.