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Slender-billed Black-cockatoo Picture

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The Short-billed or Carnaby's Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus latirostris is a cockatoo endemic to south-western Australia. Also known as the Large Black Cockatoo, or simply Carnaby's Cockatoo, it is black with white tail feathers and white cheek patches. The adult male has a pink-red ring around the eye, and off-white cheek patches, while the female has a dark eye-ring and bright white cheek patches.

Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo is recognised as Endangered under the federal Environment Protection and Conservation Act 1999, and as Schedule 1 "fauna that is rare or is likely to become extinct" by Western Australia's Wildlife Conservation (Specially Protected Fauna) Notice 2008(2) under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950. The population size of Carnaby's Cockatoo has fallen by more than 50% over the last 45 years, and up to a third of their traditional breeding grounds in the Wheatbelt area of WA have been abandoned.

Food and Foraging

Carnaby's Cockatoo feeds primarily on seeds of proteaceous plants such as Banksia, Hakea and Grevillea, and secondarily on seeds from myrtaceous plants such as Eucalyptus and Corymbia. Over fifty native plant species are commonly used for food, either as seed or flowers, and this includes Sheoak (Allocasuarina fraseriana), Orange Wattle (Acacia saligna), and grasstrees (Xanthorrhoea preissii). Invertebrates such as the larvae of wood-boring moths are also eaten. The Cockatoos have also been observed feeding on seeds of Pinus spp. in the Gnangara pine plantations north of Perth.

Typically, birds sit in the crowns of trees cracking the seed pods or cones, but occasionally they forage for fallen seed on the ground.

Nesting and Breeding

Wandoo and salmon gum woodlands are an important breeding area for Carnaby's Cockatoo. There is competition for nesting hollows with invasive species such as the Western Long-billed Corella, the Galah, and the European honeybee.

Threats to Survival

Major threats to Carnaby's Cockatoo include clearing of their feeding and breeding areas, destruction of nesting hollows (eg during firewood collection), competition with other species for nesting hollows,and illegal poaching.


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