Funds help research program take flight

One of the tracked Baudin’s Black Cockatoos spotted in the wild

​The Housing Authority has invested in the future of two endangered species of Black Cockatoo; the Carnaby’s and Forest Red-Tailed.

As well as providing over half a million dollars in funding to Murdoch University and WA Museum research projects into the migratory habits of the bird, Housing is revegetating and maintaining a bush forever site near its Kwinana redevelopment Cassia Estates.

The Housing Authority’s revegetating plan of the bush forever site near the Cassia Estates development is available via this link (a PDF file will download).

Business Development Strategic Planner Richard Elliot, who helped negotiate the package, said the involvement came about through Housing’s application under Commonwealth environmental legislation to clear its remaining Kwinana land holdings.

“The proposed clearing of these land holdings required that the Housing Authority provide an environmental offset package,” Mr Elliot explained.

He said Housing became aware the WA Museum and Murdoch University were proposing research with the aim of determining habitat characteristics and movement patterns of Black Cockatoos to better inform future conservation management of the species.

“Both organisations were seeking funding for their research and so with the agreement of the Department of Environment, the offset package was revised to include both conserving and rehabilitating an area of physical habitat and also the provision of research funding,” he said.

The outcomes of each of the projects will be used to create research reports, with Housing contributing $299,200 over four years to Murdoch University and $286,000 over four years to the WA Museum.

Murdoch University’s project will use satellite and GPS to research and track wild flocks of Black Cockatoos including mapping flock movements, critical breeding sites and feeding habitats.

The WA Museum’s project will involve determining patterns of migration, movements and changes in foraging ecology and undertaking targeted surveys on breeding, feeding and roosting sites to map critical breeding, feeding and roosting habitat.

Mr Elliot said the current available information on key habitat areas for threatened Black Cockatoos was very limited, and the new research would be invaluable for the future conservation of the species.

Land and Housing Construction Development Project Delivery Manager John Milici said providing funding to support the research of these organisations into more accurately determining habitat characteristics and movement patterns of Black Cockatoos was vital.

He said the research would help determine which areas within WA most effectively provide substitute land and would inform future conservation management measures for these birds.

“The areas identified will ideally be given consideration for conservation purposes during future planning to ensure key habitat areas are retained for these birds,” he said.

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