Perth Zoo – Black Cockatoo Wildlife Conservation Program
Perth Zoo and its partners in universities, government, and non-government organizations have been working together to conserve three species of threatened black cockatoos, with significant results. This program provides a compelling example of how the One Plan approach to conservation can really work.
The project objective is to treat sick and injured black cockatoos and to facilitate their release back to the wild. Perth Zoo also provides advice and training to the non-government organisation rehabilitation facilities on avian disease risk management, key zoonoses and veterinary management of cockatoos in rehabilitation.
Most black cockatoos admitted to Perth Zoo have suffered some form of trauma, either due to collision with vehicles or from gunshot wounds. Although the program is not able to directly reduce the incidence of either threatening process, the significant positive media coverage and scientific reporting arising from this project has raised public awareness and led to changes in sign-posted traffic speed at key locations, as well as an increased rate of reporting of illegal shooting activity by members of the public.
Since 2007 Perth Zoo has received more than 1,300 black cockatoos at its Veterinary Department, and now averages around 230 black cockatoos each year, 30-40% of which survive to undergo rehabilitation. Current research is being conducted on how rehabilitated birds survive after release.