The City of Canning helps to conserve protected fauna species listed as threatened or a priority by the Department of Parks and Wildlife.
A threatened species is an animal that needs to be specially protected because they are under identifiable threat of extinction, are rare, or otherwise in need of special protection.
Some of the most common threats faced by fauna in the Perth metropolitan area include loss of habitat, predation, habitat degradation, disease and motor vehicle accidents.
Three of these iconic species that reside within the City of Canning are described below:
Quenda (Isoodon obesulus subsp. fusciventer)
The Quenda is a small marsupial with coarse dark grey, yellow fur and a slender tail measuring up to 16 centimetres. Quendas are under threat from predation by cats and foxes, habitat loss and vehicles.
The City of Canning, with assistance from volunteer groups and residents, is helping to protect this species by maintaining and enhancing their preferred habitat, creating wildlife corridors and controlling exotic predators. Please watch out for Quendas whilst driving as they may stray onto the road.
Carnaby's black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) and the Forest red-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii)
The City of Canning is fortunate to support two threatened black cockatoo species which are found nowhere else in the world but the southwest of Australia.
Black Cockatoos are often seen in small to large flocks, with the two species most easily distinguished by the colour of their tail feathers and distinctive calls.
These two cockatoo species are the Carnaby’s or white-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) and the Forest red-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii naso).
The Noongar name for these birds is Ngolak and Karrakin respectively, and they are of cultural significance to the local communities of the area. To learn more about the culturally-significant birds of Canning, and how they got their names, visit this link.
Carnaby’s black cockatoos spend time foraging on the Swan Coastal Plain, including Canning, in non-breeding times between Kambarang (spring) to Makuru (winter).
The Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo movements have changed over time. Historically, it was unusual to the see the Forest red-tailed black cockatoo move from the Darling Range, however, over recent years, the birds can be observed throughout the year searching for food and water on the Swan Coastal Plain, which puts them at increased risk of vehicle strikes and other threats.
The threats facing black cockatoos have arisen from modifications to native vegetation across the southwest landscape for urbanisation and agriculture. Loss of native vegetation across their range has dramatically reduced the cockatoos' food sources, nesting places and overnight resting places. The drying climate has also reduced the availability of fresh water sources required for cockatoos to survive, particularly prior to roosting for the evening.
Once numerous across southwest Australia, the population of these charismatic and long-lived birds has declined by up to 50% in the last 50 years, with the number of Carnaby’s continuing to decline by 4% per year (Birdlife Australia 2021).
The City of Canning has identified the preservation of cockatoos and other significant fauna through implementation of its Local Biodiversity Strategy 2018, which recognises the importance of protecting remaining native vegetation and restoring degraded lands.
The City undertakes a variety of initiatives to help black cockatoos, many of which relate to key actions of this strategy, and these include:
- Protecting and conserving the birds' feeding and habitat areas such as installing fencing, protecting dead trees, and retaining large mature trees
- Undertaking weed control and Phytophthora Dieback treatment in Banksia woodlands to enhance cockatoo feeding areas
- Referring to the 'Great Cocky Count' data to help inform the installation of a bird watering stations near known roost sites, such as Rossmoyne Park. The City has allocated funding for two additional cockatoo watering stations near known roosting sites in the 2020/21 financial year.
- Planting locally native species to improve biodiversity and linking ecological corridors to help protect cockatoos flying across the landscape. The City will plant approximately 6000 plants known to be used by black cockatoos including Banksia spp, Eucalyptus spp, and Hakea spp across streetscapes, parks and conservation areas this Makuru (winter) planting season. For more information on this, visit our Urban Forest web page
- Encouraging the local community to plant locally native species on their properties and retain trees to help feed cockatoos. Click here for more information on Carnaby's friendly plants.
- Teaching children about these special birds through Canning River Eco Education Centre’s (CREEC) Cockatoo Club program.
- Rescuing sick or injured cockatoos and transporting to appropriate rehabilitation centres, including the Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre.
- Installing warning signage in local hotspots to alert drivers to be more aware of cockatoos feeding or drinking from adjacent bushland areas, including Karel Avenue in Willetton and Willeri Drive in Riverton. Black cockatoos mate for life, so the impact from one death has long-lasting effects on their future breeding potential.
For further information on black cockatoo species, there are a number of resources available, some of which are listed below.
The community can also contact the City’s Parks and Place Improvement team
for further advice.
- Department of Environment and Conservation 2013, Fauna profile Quenda Isoodon obesulus (Shaw, 1979), Government of Western Australia.
- Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities 2013, Merops ornatus in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra. Available from: www.environment.gov.au/sprat
- Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities 2004, Australian Threatened Species: Carnaby's Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris), Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra. Available from: www.environment.gov.au/
- Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (2013). Calyptorhynchus banksii naso in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra. Available from: www.environment.gov.au/sprat