Cockatoo Research Project 2019 Western Australian Museum

The major achievements of this project include:

  1. Reassessing the status of Baudin’s Cockatoo. Following our conservation advice to the
    Department of the Environment and Energy – Baudin’s Cockatoo had its status transferred from
    the Vulnerable category to the Endangered category in February 2018.

  2. Documenting and mapping the changing foraging ecology of many Forest red-tailed black
    Cockatoos in the northern Darling Range west onto the Swan Coastal Plain and east into the
    wheat belt. Over the past 20 years the foraging ecology of some populations in the northern
    Jarrah-Marri forest has changed with flocks that were once largely sedentary have now
    developed regular movements onto the Swan Coastal Plain and in some places established new
    roost sites and breeding sites. This movement has led to an erroneous impression in the Perth
    region that this subspecies is expanding its range and increasing in abundance. Furthermore, the
    altered foraging behaviour has led to changes in distribution and roosting patterns that appear to
    influence breeding success. In 2016 almost no Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo were recorded
    breeding at any of our study sites and no juveniles were recorded in the northern Jarrah forest or
    on the Swan Coastal Plain. This indicates that this population may be at greater risk than
    originally thought (see Johnstone, Kirkby and Sarti 2017).

  3. Identifying and monitoring Baudin’s Cockatoo breeding sites in northern Jarrah-Marri forest. Now
    a much better understanding of breeding sites, timing of breeding events and breeding biology in
    this area.

  4. Prioritising targeted surveys on southern Swan Coastal Plain (Perth-Peel region) to determine
    habitat use (study of food resources) by cockatoos especially Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoos in
    roadside verges.

  5. Data generated from this program used by State and federal government agencies especially
    information on distribution, status, movements and important habitats to enable the
    conservation of critical areas.

  6. Analysing nest tree mortality. Monitoring nest hollows. The Jarrah-Marri forests of southwestern Western Australia occupy about 1.6 million hectares (Whitford and Williams 2001).
    Logging of these forests since the 1860s has preferentially removed the larger trees that are most
    likely to provide nesting hollows suitable for Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo and Baudin’s
    Cockatoo. Tree hollows tend to occur in mature, senescent and dead (stag) trees and the useful
    habitat life of these trees is limited by natural factors such as fire, decay, wind throw or storm
    damage and purposeful destruction by further clearing. Of the 53 trees revisited in 2018 that
    were located in the period 1992–2003, a total of 25 trees with nest hollows were lost completely
    and 4 nest hollows were lost through falling limbs and fire, but the tree was still standing giving
    an overall loss of 29 trees giving a loss rate of 54.7%. This highlights the fact that managing fire in
    a way that maintains habitat resources for hollow dependent cockatoos requires further detailed
    research on the impact of fire (both wildfire and control burns), but not the status quo.

  7. Identifying fire as major threat. Fire is obviously the major cause of tree fall of actual nest trees and
    of future or potential nest trees and hence the retention of the right type and number of hollowbearing trees is essential to prevent the rapid collapse of hollow-bearing trees in the Jarrah-Marri
    The continuing net loss of actual and potential nest trees by fire should be considered as a Key
    Threatening Process in the Jarrah-Marri forest.

  8. Evaluating differences in contact Calls. Early in 2015 we began to analyse the vocalisations of
    both Baudin’s and Carnaby’s Cockatoos. From these it was evident that Baudin’s Cockatoo has a
    much shorter contact call compared to Carnaby’s Cockatoo. Furthermore there are distinct
    differences between male and female contact calls of Baudin’s Cockatoo in contrast to the
    contact calls of Carnaby’s Cockatoo where both male and female contact calls are identical (see
    Contact Calls of Baudin’s Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus baudinii, R. E. Johnstone and T. Kirkby, 2015).
    This work has important implications in showing that Baudin’s Cockatoo and Carnaby’s Cockatoo
    are indeed separate species and must be managed as separate entities. As part of this project,
    further study on cockatoo vocalisations continued throughout 2018.

  9. Implementing broad scale surveys. Surveys over the past five years have highlighted the
    importance of: parts of the southern Swan Coastal Plain, Bindoon region, Wungong Catchment,
    Serpentine hills, Whicher Range area, Frankland National Park and Hyden region.
    10.Developing a food library, photographic library and audio library (including regional dialects) for
    all three species.
    11.Mapping the expansion of some super abundant native species e.g. Galah, Rainbow Lorikeet, and
    corellas into the south-west. These species compete for hollows and food with cockatoos.
    12.Publicising and raising awareness of the status and conservation needs of these birds through
    information sheets, scientific papers and seminars (see Figure 23).

  10. Development by Tony Kirkby of a pole camera for monitoring nest hollows. In 2012 he observed
    window cleaners using an 18 m pole to clean windows in the United Kingdom. We also
    developed a method of measuring nest hollow depth and width using the same poles.

  11. Baudin’s Cockatoo was named in 1832 by the famous English artist and poet Edward Lear in
  12. Unfortunately Lear’s painting gave no description, measurements or locality data and the
    whereabouts of the type (reference) specimen was a mystery, assumed lost.
    Lear’s illustration was assumed by cockatoo researchers to be the long-billed form, and looking
    at the drawing it appears that way. The other white-tail, Carnaby’s Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus
    latirostris, was described by Ivan Carnaby from WA in 1948 and it differed from Baudin’s in its
    short heavy bill and call. The “lost” specimen used by Lear was recently rediscovered in the
    National Museums Liverpool and to our amazement it was the short-billed Carnaby’s Cockatoo.
    This proved a dilemma as to how we could conserve the long-established names of baudinii for
    the long-billed Baudin’s Cockatoo and maintain latirostris as the valid name for Carnaby’s
    Cockatoo. The scientific solution was to have the holotype of baudinii Lear, set aside and
    replaced with a neotype of a specimen of Baudin’s Cockatoo so as not to destabilise longestablished names. A scientific paper was prepared for the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature
    that was published in September 2014.
    This highlights the value of collaborative research on an international level involving researchers
    in Australia, United Kingdom, France and the United States and also the value of museum
    specimens, both old and new, in resolving biodiversity questions.

To read the entire research project click on the link below.

Lähettänyt kezzza4 kezzza4, 31. heinäkuuta 2021 07:57


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