Foraging by Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo in Banksia woodland on the Swan Coastal Plain, Western Australia
Centre for Ecosystem Management
Human–wildlife conflicts around the loss and use of habitat are common reasons for species being listed as threatened. In order to reduce such conflicts it is important to have a clear understanding of the resource requirements of threatened species and the environmental factors that influence the availability and continued supply of those resources. The availability of Banksia cones and temporal patterns of their use by Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris), was measured bi-monthly in proteaceous woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain, south-western Australia. Availability of Banksia cones was assessed at sites that differed in soil-types, time since lastfire and occurrence of Phytophthora cinnamomi. The mean number of available cones differed significantly in relation to P. cinnamomi presence and time since last fire. This study revealed a strong association between availability of Banksia cones and their consumption by Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo. Over 12 months, Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos handled approximately half of the available Banksia cones, and over three-quarters of those handled involved feeding. Banksia attenuata and B. sessilis produced the greatest number of cones, with consumption proportionate to cone availability. Understanding the patterns of availability and consumption of food resources by Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos provides critical pieces of information that will help implement more effective conservation and management to stem the decline of this species.
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