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Glossy Black Cockatoos on the Coast - and inland

Last Updated on Monday, 12 March 2012 14:20

Glossy Black-Cockatoos are labelled as Vulnerable in Queensland and Threatened on a National Level. Presently, little is known about the current movements of the Glossy's populations and their specific habitat selection.

The Glossy Black-Cockatoo is located in the South-Eastern corner of Queensland, Eastern New South Wales, extending slightly into Victoria with populations known in South Australia and Kangaroo Island.

Glossy Black-Cockatoos are specialized feeders of Allocasuarina seeds (Allocasuarina torulosa, Allocasuarina littoralis) and some Casuarina species (Casuarina equisetifolia). They feed from the seeds located within the barky cone. Allocasuarina species are frequent in the Gold Coast and South-east Queensland region. These trees grow throughout Logan and Scenic Rim Region. Allocasuarina littoralis grows extensively in south west Logan - an area targeted by state government and Logan council as identified future growth areas. Allocasuarina torulosa grows extensively in the ranges and higher ridges of Scenic Rim.

Total population estimates as of 2006 were less then 18 000. As of 2005, there was a declining population of Glossy Black-Cockatoos in Queensland, with estimates of population numbers being between 1000 and 2500. On the Gold Coast population numbers are unknown.

Conservation status and threats
All states in which Glossy Black-Cockatoos are located have been labeled Vulnerable or Endangered. The Australian Government has declared the status of the Glossy Black-Cockatoo, on a national level, as Threatened.

Roosting/breeding trees are being cleared throughout the South-Eastern Queensland region. Suitable trees for breeding are usually large with the presence of hollows in which the cockatoos can adequately roost and breed. Native Australian trees, like Eucalyptus Species, take a considerable amount of time to form large hollows.

Females can be told apart from males via blotches of yellow located on the head and neck. The head may also be darker then the male. Juveniles will also have a darker head with small spots on the shoulder or breast.

Glossy Black-Cockatoos feed on the seeds of Allocasuarina species with the Black She-Oak (Allocasuarina littoralis) being the favored Allocasuarina species. They have been recorded spending approximately 88% of the day foraging for Allocasuarina seeds.

Breeding occurs every two years with a single egg being laid in late January to early June with a longer nestling period then any other cockatoos (up to 90 days). Large hollow trees are needed for a breeding site and they are known to have a breeding life span that can exceed 30 years.

Dr Guy Castley from Griffith University is leading The Glossy Black-Cockatoo project which aims to assess the current distribution and habitat use of Glossy Black-Cockatoos in the Gold Coast area in order to ensure that habitat preservation for the Glossy Black-Cockatoo can be made with greater accuracy and ensure their survival in the future.



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