Carnaby’s habitat needs protection

Monday, 20 February 2023

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Carnaby’s habitat needs protection

Cocanarup is under threat from clearing and mining

Cocanarup Timber Reserve is one of the most significant breeding sites for Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos in the world. And yet it is currently at risk from mining, with a decision pending to allow Bulletin Resources to clear vegetation within the reserve.

Under the Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo Breeding Program, BirdLife Australia monitors approximately a 1000 hollows at more than 30 sites every year, and Cocanarup accounts for a quarter of the hollows monitored! It supports over 250 potential breeding trees and over 50 pairs recorded breeding there each year, and, since we usually only have one opportunity to monitor sites each breeding season, it’s quite likely that we’re missing many other pairs breeding there.

The fact that the population of Carnaby’s on Western Australia’s South Coast is genetically distinct from birds of the West Coast population adds even more value to their conservation in this area.

Cocanarup is not only an important breeding site but is also a major wildlife corridor, effectively connecting three vast natural areas — Fitzgerald National Park, the Ravensthorpe Range and the Great Western Woodlands. This breeding site supports plenty of foraging resources and with the Phillips River running through it, there is water available for the Carnaby’s as well. This pristine, old-growth Salmon Gum woodland is in need of protection, with plenty of other species, such as the Western Quoll and Malleefowl, relying on it as well.

We cannot allow Cocanarup to be cleared and mined if we want to save Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos — it should be listed as an A-class reserve.

Thanks to the support of many people, we have been able to delay the decision on Cocanarup and even had the opportunity to discuss the importance of Cocanarup with representatives of the Office of the Minister of Environment. It is now being assessed further.

Make your voice heard

In the meantime, we can still make our voices heard by clicking here to send an email to the Environment Minister to tell him how important it is to protect Cocanarup — for the survival of Carnaby’s as well as other threatened wildlife.

If you would like more information, please contact the WA Advocacy Team or our friends from the Cocanarup Conservation Alliance.