ACT leading nation’s gang-gang conservation

Australian Greens

The ACT is coordinating national recovery efforts for the gang-gang cockatoo after receiving Federal Government funding to establish and lead a national working group.

The working group, which consists of key stakeholders from both local and state governments, community and research institutions, and land management agencies across Australia, will be crucial in identifying and delivering initiatives that will help conserve the Gang-gang cockatoo.

“The gang-gang cockatoo is an iconic and well-loved bird in the nation’s capital and is even the animal emblem of the ACT,” Minister for the Environment Rebecca Vassarotti said.

“While we consider the ACT to be a strong-hold for the species, preliminary results from collaborative research between the Australian National University and ACT Government indicate there may be fewer gang-gangs in Canberra than was previously believed.

“Although the causes of decline are not well understood, the primary threats to the Gang-gang Cockatoo include habitat loss and the impacts of climate change, which destroy mature trees and alter the availability of key foraging resources. Their decline has been exacerbated by the 2019 2020 bushfires, which burnt approximately 18 per cent of its range.”

Minister Vassarotti said the funding will provide the ACT with resources to investigate gang-gang’s distribution patterns and important nesting locations.

“We are already seeing the benefits of this working group here in the ACT,” Minister Vassarotti said.

“One of the key successes of the national working group has been securing funding of $247,000 from the Federal Government to undertake strategic monitoring of Gang-gangs within the ACT, Blue Mountains and New South Wales South-east Coast.

The project will:

  • explore multiple monitoring strategies for understanding the distribution, density and abundance of Gang-gang Cockatoos;
  • investigate Gang-gang Cockatoo habitat and nest tree selection in fire-impacted regions, including Namadgi National Park;
  • relate the microclimate of Gang-gang Cockatoo nesting hollows to tree morphology, site attributes, and nest productivity; and
  • compare the thermal properties of natural hollows with those of artificial nesting tubes installed as a post-fire recovery action.

“Citizen science activities which are crucial to long term conservation efforts will also be supported. Additional funding will help our community experts expand outreach and increase the promotion of digital platforms for the community to record gang-gang sightings, hollow nesting activity and foraging data.

“I want to thank all the members of the working group, as well as the citizen scientists in the community helping make an important contribution to our understanding of these special cockatoos.”

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