Cockatoo death alarm

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Murdoch University researchers have urged drivers in the Great Southern to watch out for endangered Carnaby’s cockatoos after multiple birds lost their lives in the region recently.

There have been several deaths reported between Cheynes Beach and Boxwood Hill, and two separate collisions within the same hour near Bremer Bay, in both of which the birds died.

Murdoch University PhD student Karen Riley is monitoring the movements of breeding Carnaby’s cockatoos using satellite and GPS transmitters and said the rate of deaths caused by cars was worrying.

“The birds were feeding along the road verge on the Borden to Bremer Bay Road and several had come down to drink from a puddle on the road,” she said.

“A car came along and barely slowed down before hitting and killing one bird,

“Cockatoos are slow to take off so drivers need to give them plenty of time to move out of the way when passing them on the road. Often the birds will be feeding along road verges where native vegetation has been retained, making them particularly vulnerable to being hit by cars.”

Carcases are increasingly being brought to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ Albany office.

The population of Carnaby’s cockatoos has dropped during the past 30 years from 150,000 to between 20,000 and 40,000.

Motorists who find injured cockatoos on the road are asked to call the DBCA Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.

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