Perth community can help save Carnaby’s cockatoo

Endangered Carnaby’s cockatoos are adapting to urban life in Perth suburbs. And new research has shown how the community can help save them by creating cockatoo-friendly suburbs.

A world-first study used satellite technology to track the wild cockatoos, which are found only in Australia’s south-west and are often spotted in the suburbs of Perth

Christine Groom of the University of Western Australia attached satellite devices to 23 of the distinctive black cockatoos to track their movements around Perth.

She discovered that they travel about 5.5km from night roosts to forage every day and can fly up to 70km between night roosts.

She is encouraging people to create cockatoo-friendly suburbs by growing food plants in gardens, planting roosting trees around recreation areas, and providing water sources.

Carnaby’s cockatoos are in decline, largely because of a loss of habitat on the Swan Coastal Plain and elsewhere.

Citizen science project the Great Cocky Count estimates the population in urban areas has dropped at least 10 per cent per year for the last 6 years.

Christine hopes planting cockatoo favourites such as candlestick banksia and liquidambar in backyards, schools, or anywhere there is space will help ensure Carnaby’s cockatoos grace Perth skies for decades to come.

Contact: Christine Groom, University of Western Australia,

For more information:

Carnaby’s Cockatoo Community Action Group Facebook page

The Great Cocky Count

Birdlife WA’s Choose for Black cockatoos planting initiative

PhD Thesis

Photos and video:

Fitting tracking devices to a Carnaby’s cockatoo


Carnaby’s cockatoo


In the Wild: Rehabilitated Carnaby’s Cockatoos from Christine Groom on Vimeo.

Unusual Behaviours of Carnaby’s Cockatoos from Christine Groom on Vimeo.

Related Articles