CARNABY’S black cockatoo advocates have held a candlelight vigil on the steps of Parliament and handed over a petition calling for an emergency plan to protect the birds’ habitat.
The petition seeks a halt to clearing of pine trees above the Gnangara Mound aquifer, and protection for southern woodlands subject to bauxite mining.
The state government’s plan to finish clearing the pines is intended to stop the trees sucking the aquifer dry, but the Save the Black Cockatoos Coalition fear loss of the pines will lead to many birds starving, as they rely on the plantations for food after losing so much of their original feeding lands.
Birdlife Australia’s Merryn Prior issued a statement ahead of the vigil saying “thousands of Carnaby’s are reliant on the Gnangara pine plantation for food and roost sites, but the last few thousand hectares of pines are due to be harvested over the next couple of years without being replaced with native revegetation. Removing this food supply could result in a massive starvation event.”
The group wants a moratorium on clearing until large-scale ecological restoration projects can start to restore and expand bushlands. STBCC campaign coordinator Paddy Cullen said “with better planning laws and more habitat protection and restoration, there is real hope we can save the Black Cockatoos from extinction”.
The petition was being read in Parliament this week as the Voice went to print.