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Glossy Black Cockatoo

Glossy Black Cockatoo Conservation Project

Glossy Black Cockatoo

Photo used with permission from of The Glossy Black Conservancy. Bird in flight and map courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Report all sightings to The Glossy Black Conservancy

Become a volunteer and help survey the local population of Glossy Black-Cockatoos. Find out more about the Glossy Black Cockatoo Birding Day in October 2014.

Summary

Nestled amongst the foothills of World Heritage listed Mt Barney National Park is Mt Barney Lodge; a unique property that forms a natural corridor with the National Park for fauna such as the threatened Glossy Black Cockatoo.

The owners of Mt Barney Lodge, Innes and Tracey Larkin have protected and extended their stand of remnant forage trees by planting new seedlings to allow for the future protection of the Glossy Black Cockatoo.

The Glossy Black Cockatoo Conservation Project began in 2005 and not only aims to contribute to the overall survival of this species, but also aims to bring the community together for the purposes of protection and education of this rarely seen bird.

Project Background:

Mt Barney Lodge (MBL) is surrounded by the wilderness of World Heritage-listed Mt Barney National Park and is bordered by large parcels of farmland now used for cattle grazing. The property was purchased 20 years ago and restored from heavily cleared and grazed farmland into a revegetated haven for wallabies, reptiles and birds such as the Glossy Black Cockatoo (GBC).

Located on the 30 acres of MBL property is a small stand of approximately 30 remnant Forest Sheoaks (Allocasuarina torulosa) that are annually harvested by the GBC. These resident GBC’s have also been observed to nest in the adjacent Mt Barney National Park and at Palen Creek .

Threats:

The GBC has been classified as Vulnerable in Queensland and Threatened on a National Level, with habitat loss identified as their greatest threat.

The practice of removing nesting and foraging trees for the purposes of creating grazing pastures, urban development, and by wildfires significantly impacts the number of GBC’s that can be supported by the environment.

Where do they Live and what do they Eat?

The GBC are fussy eaters, with their main diet consisting almost exclusively of two species of casuarina seeds (Allocasuarina littoralis and Allocasuarina torulosa). The GBC also requires hollows in large eucalypts for nesting, a waterhole for drinking and casuarina trees bearing a good quality crop nearby to satisfy their energy requirements with minimal effort. These characteristics of ecological specialisation of the GBC, and their inability to adapt to environmental habitat changes pose the greatest risk to the future of the bird.

Glossy Black Cockatoo Conservation Project

Mt Barney Lodge has begun a Glossy Black Cockatoo Conservation Project on the property with the aim of assisting in the future conservation of this species. MBL has begun to protect and extend the existing stand of trees on the property to increase the GBC food supply, and to increase the amount of nesting sites available for the future.

Project Planning:

In seeing the need for immediate intervention for the future wellbeing of the GBC, Mt Barney Lodge has undertaken an independent conservation project to extend the existing forage and nesting trees on the MBL property. The project initially began in April 2005 with a request for formal funding in response to a Conservation-Tourism partnership opportunity with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines. When request for formal funding was declined, MBL commenced an independent conservation project.

Outcomes of the GBC Conservation project:

Over the past 3 years, the following outcomes have been achieved:

  • In 2009 Mt Barney Lodge became a Partner of The Glossy Black Conservancy. This Queensland based organisation is coordinating conservation, education and research of this threatened species. We encourage guests to report any confirmed sightings to the Conservancy to build up a better objective profile on this mysterious bird.
  • Increased community awareness:
    • 400 seedlings and GBC info sheets were given out to Beaudesert Shire residents, with the opportunity to give back seedlings to be planted on the Mt Barney Lodge property
    • MBL regularly runs adventure activities for children and Eco tours for adults, whereby the GBC Conservation Project enables active participation and education
    • Information about the GBC conservation project is found in the guest compendium folder in all buildings
    • Mt Barney Lodge has a self-guided GBC walk in which guests can easily take part in
  • Increased plantings of forage and nesting trees on the MBL property.
    • 70 trees handed back from the Beaudesert community awareness program have been planted with a 90% success rate in the survival of plants. These plants will be viable forage trees by 2012.
    • The area of remnant Casuarina trees at MBL was fenced off from cattle and seedlings were encouraged to grow through the removal of heavy mulch covering them.
  • Partnerships with other organisations to allow for donations to fund the project:
    • T.S.G.S donated $100 for extra tree plantings
  • Increased community involvement:
    • Liaison with Yugembeh Land Enterprises and Lillydale has resulted in Allocasuarina torulosa’s being planted amongst other vegetation in their planned wildlife corridors.
  • Increased biophysical and environmental benefits:
    • Extension of habitat ensures for future feeding sites and nesting opportunities for the GBC
    • New plantings have increased soil structure, quality and erosion control
    • Shade and shelter is provided for general fauna
    • Weed management is reduced due to regular natural mulch underneath the trees
    • Wildlife corridors and habitat retention and enhancement
    • Cattle-proof fencing has resulted in reduction of introduced weed seeds, soil erosion and destruction of native plants
  • Health and recreation (active communities, outdoor recreation):
    • The GBC Conservation Project is incorporated into adventure activities and walks on the property; a unique way of integrating education with physical activity

Future actions:

Mt Barney Lodge plans to encourage the Mt Barney precinct to be a ‘threatened species “Arc” ’in the future. This will involve a diversity of community groups, schools (today’s students are tomorrow’s landowners), environmental agencies, tourism operators of “Discover Mt Barney”, community landholders and Yugambeh Land Enterprises. For the Threatened Species Arc to be most effective, local stakeholders will need to embrace the project and implement conservation and revegetation practices throughout their own property.

See the latest Glossy Black Conservancy newsletter HERE.

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