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#ThreatenedThursday: Glossy Black-Cockatoo

#ThreatenedThursday: Glossy Black-Cockatoo

February 6, 2020


SPECIES: Calyptorhynchus lathami halmaturinus — Glossy Black-Cockatoo (Kangaroo Island)

CLASSIFICATION: Endangered

Now more than ever, the Glossy Black-Cockatoo needs our help. The ever-so-fragile last population of Glossy Black’s on Kangaroo Island has been ravaged by bushfires on the Island. It can’t get much worse. In fact, it’s thought that up to 75% of their habitat has been wiped out by the fires. You see, the Glossy Black-Cockatoo needs special seeds to eat and is particular about the trees it calls home. Its specialised diet is seeds from the Drooping Sheoak and they live in large, old, hollow-bearing trees in close proximity to feeding habitat. Understandably, this can be a hard collection to come across.

Preferring to live in pairs, over the course of a year, they might raise just one chick together if they are lucky. This certainly plays a part in why the species is endangered. But! Glossy and Black they may not be! The colouring and appearance of their feathers varies and can be quite dark brown and matte-looking. Somehow the Brown Matte-Cockatoo doesn’t have the same ring about it. Adult males usually have panels of red on his tail feathers and adult females are distinctive by the patches of yellow on her head.

This particular species is now only found in one population on Kangaroo Island, and estimates prior to the fires were about 300 birds. The next steps will be for recovery teams to undertake a full survey of the population left post fires and work on a plan that will see them continue to survive. We keep our fingers crossed that the last remaining Glossy Black-Cockatoos can muster resilience and hold on.

FAME is committed to helping save endangered species, like the Glossy Black-Cockatoo as one of our focusses through our Bushfire Appeal. Find out more and donate at www.fame.org.au

Photo: SA Department of Environment and Water