Lotterywest and Murdoch to keep Carnaby’s flying

Cockatoo (860x480)

Murdoch University will lead an innovative community action project to help save Western Australia’s Carnaby’s cockatoos from extinction thanks to a substantial grant from Lotterywest.

The Keep Carnaby’s Flying - Ngoolarks Forever project will receive more than $1.5 million to work with a range of community stakeholders over two years, with a view to continuing beyond this time.

Ngoolarks, the Noongar name for the iconic birds, are culturally significant to the people of the Whadjuk and Binjareb nations (Perth-Peel region), and as such, the project will include authentic Aboriginal engagement, working closely with Murdoch’s Ngangk Yira Institute for Change.

Led by Professor Kris Warren from Murdoch’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Harry Butler Institute, the project team will work with four local government authorities each year, and a number of community stakeholders, to deliver a range of on-ground activities to protect and preserve the endangered birds.

Without immediate action, Professor Warren fears we will lose Ngoolarks (Carnaby’s cockatoos) forever.

“The evidence is clear and grave, Ngoolark’s numbers have plummeted 50 per cent in the last five decades, and the collapse is continuing,” she said.

“These birds have strong cultural meaning to Noongar people, and for the wider Perth community they are perhaps the most well-loved and highly recognisable example of urban wildlife.

“But unless something changes, and fast, Ngoolarks are heading to extinction within decades.” Professor Kris Warren

Based on 15 years of Murdoch University research, including the Black Cockatoo Conservation Management Project with Main Roads Western Australia and the Public Transport Authority, the project will identify and mitigate threatening processes for the precious Ngoolarks across Perth, such as hotspots for vehicle strike, lack of food, water, and places to shelter or roost.

The team will work with the local governments, environmental and wildlife-focused NGOs, and Aboriginal organisations, to develop Conservation Action Plans that will help guide revegetation activities, protect foraging habitat, roost sites and vegetation corridors, and establish a network of water-drinking stations for the birds over the short, medium and long term.

A dedicated website and other outreach activities will build community engagement and further awareness of the birds’ plight and encourage planting of more foraging habitat to keep the Ngoolarks or Carnaby’s flying into the future.

“Lotterywest is committed to supporting our community to sustain and enhance our unique species and environments,” Lotterywest Chief Executive Officer Ralph Addis said.

“The Keep Carnaby’s Flying community empowerment program is a great initiative and we’re honoured to support the conservation of Carnaby’s cockatoos in the Perth-Peel regions.”

The project will collaborate with local governments, selected based on Murdoch University’s research into the Ngoolarks/Carnaby’s cockatoo flock movements, partnering with Perth NRM, SERCUL, Peel Harvey Catchment Council, Landcare SJ, Urban Bushland Council, Birdlife Australia, Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre, and Curtin University.

The project team are also planning to partner with Winjan Bindjareb Boodja Aboriginal Ranger Program.

Study Conservation and Wildlife Biology at Murdoch and be part of the next generation working to protect and conserve environments under threat both in Australia and globally. 
Posted on:

28 Oct 2022

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