CockyWatch road surveys are a citizen science initiative that will help us find out more about the black-cockatoos of the South West. These birds are threatened at both a state and national level, but there are no robust estimates of their population size – a real problem for cockatoo researchers – but with CockyWatch, you can help expand our knowledge about these charismatic birds.
Anybody in the Western Australia’s South West can participate in CockyWatch, anywhere from north of Kalbarri to east of Esperance. All you need to do is be in transit – if your drive is longer than 20 kilometres, or you’re walking/cycling for at least 2 kilometres, you can conduct a CockyWatch survey.
How many black-cockatoos are left? Scientists aren’t sure, because they range over such a large area, from north of Kalbarri to east of Esperance. Also, they’re able to travel easily across this landscape. Getting a better idea of how many black-cockatoos there are is vital if we are to help them.
The information gathered through CockyWatch will help to find out how the abundance of black-cockatoos changes across different habitats, different regions, and from year to year. In the long term, we hope to get enough information to estimate minimum population sizes for all three species of black-cockatoo across the South West.
CockyWatch surveys are best done when travelling with a passenger who can look out for cockatoos and enter the survey, while the driver watches the road.
To complete a CockyWatch survey using Birdata, all you have to do is:
This survey is being run by BirdLife Australia and has been developed in partnership with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).
It is presently supported by funding from the Alcoa Foundation and has been supported in the past by the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program supported by Royalties for Regions.
Habitat clearance and degradation are major threats to black-cockatoos in south-western Australia, with development rapidly reducing their remaining habitat around Perth. You can help black-cockatoos by planting native plants in your garden, or when replanting your local reserve.
To save birds, we need reliable data. Birdata is where we collect, keep and share this information. Compiled almost entirely by citizen scientists, Birdata is Australia's largest and longest running database for birds, with more than 18 million records (and counting).