The Great Cocky Count (GCC) is a citizen-science survey, and the biggest single survey for black-cockatoos in Western Australia. In the lead-up to the GCC each year, we ask people to keep an eye out for roost sites, which helps us plan the upcoming GCC. Then, on one evening each autumn, volunteers monitor known roost sites and count black-cockatoos as they arrive in the evening. Records submitted from across south-western WA provide a snapshot of black-cockatoo populations, helping us quantify changes in their numbers.
The Great Cocky Count takes place in south-western Western Australia — south-west of a line between Geraldton and Esperance — on a single night in autumn. Citizen scientists can help in the lead-up to the GCC by locating night roosts (places where the black-cockatoos gather to sleep at night).
Simply register to take part in the Great Cocky Count and you’ll receive instructions and a site to survey.
Black-cockatoos live across a large area, so it’s difficult to get an accurate record of how many there are in the wild. By working with citizen scientists in the Great Cocky Count, we are able to get a snapshot of where black-cockatoos are located, giving us a better idea of their numbers.
The Great Cocky Count started as a survey for Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos, focusing on their roost sites around Perth, but in recent years it has expanded to include Baudin’s Black-Cockatoos and Forest Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos as well, at sites right across the south-western WA.
To learn more about the history of the Great Cocky Count and view previous results, you can access the latest GCC report here.
Great Cocky Count workshops are held at a number of locations around Perth and south-western WA in the lead-up to the Great Cocky Count. During these workshops, participants learn about black-cockatoo biology, ecology, behaviour and threats. Most importantly, they learn how the Great Cocky Count works and what to record during the survey.
Upcoming workshops will be listed here, as well as on the BirdLife WA Facebook page and through the BirdLife WA e-news.
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.
Join in the CockyWatch road survey, and gather important information that will help scientists conserve the threatened Black-cockatoos of WA's South West.