Rare cockatoo chicks emerge from burnt bushland on Kangaroo Island - National Tree Day Blog

Rare cockatoo chicks emerge from burnt bushland on Kangaroo Island

Glossy black-cockatoo chicks hatched last month on Kangaroo Island despite the summer's devastating bushfires, boosting hopes the endangered species can be saved from extinction.

Staff from natural resources management agency Natural Resources Kangaroo Island have already discovered 23 chicks in the process of conducting nest inspections, including several in areas significantly damaged by the bushfires. The appearance of healthy chicks is a big win for conservationists on the island, who had feared the fires could decimate the island’s small population.

The population of glossy black-cockatoos on Kangaroo Island was estimated at around 370 cockatoos prior to the bushfires. Up to 75 per cent of this population lived within the 210,000-hectare area that was burnt, sparking fears for the future of the species.

“It’s amazing to see that glossies have continued to nest in places like Middle River and DeMole River where there’s some food trees that survived the flames,” Karleah Berris from Natural Resources Kangaroo Island told WWF Australia.

“We’re keeping a very close eye on those nests to ensure they’ve got enough food to keep the nestlings going until fledging.”

Whilst the appearance of these chicks is encouraging, there remains much work to be done to regenerate the birds’ natural habitat since loss of feeding habitat was already a concern prior to bushfires. Glossy black-cockatoos feed almost exclusively on the seeds of sheoak trees. Plans are currently being made to plant thousands of shoak trees in the coming months as well as replace artificial nest boxes lost in the fires.


Positive Action

  • Find out more about the glossy black-cockatoo and how you can contribute to their conservation via the Glossy Black-Cockatoo Recovery Program.
  • Our native birds require native tree species for their natural habitat. Find out how you can help them by planting a native as part of National Tree Day 2020.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.

Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.