The traditional habitat of the threatened forest subspecies of the red-tailed black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) is in the Jarrah forest of south-western Australia. Since 2000, red-tailed black-cockatoos have occurred increasing frequency in the Perth Metropolitan Area on the Swan Coastal Plain. This project will investigate how the forest red-tailed black-cockatoo has adapted to the urban environment. It will focus on the range expansion into urban areas, the use of novel resources such as exotic foods, the modification of vocal signals, and the urban environment as novel habitat for red-tailed black-cockatoos. The findings of this study will provide detailed information on behavioural modification caused by urbanisation, and will increase our understanding of the effect of urbanisation on the forest red-tailed black-cockatoo.
How can you help? In order to accurately map the range expansion and urbanisation of the red-tailed black-cockatoo in the urban areas of Perth we need as many current and historical sightings as possible. We are asking that in addition to reporting cockatoos that you see from now on, you also look back through your old records and photographs to find records of cockatoos from the past. These past sightings are incredibly important, and are of no use if they are not entered into the database. With your help, we will be able to see when the cockatoos moved into the city, and how they have been utilising the urban landscape.
I am also trying to map the distribution of the cockatoos' favourite food in Perth, the Cape Lilac. If you know the location of a cape lilac tree, or if you see one when you are out and about, please report it using the Cape Lilac reporting form.