Re: Red-tailed Blacks

Subject: Re: Red-tailed Blacks
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2003 08:46:23 +1000
In response to the possible sightings of Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos on the
Merri Creek area near Dights Falls.  I've checked the various Victorian
fauna databases and some publications for the species with respect to its
Victorian status and found the following.

- The Atlas of Victorian Wildlife (AVW) has no records of the species
closer to Melbourne than a pre-1900 observation at Ballarat, all other
records are from the far south west of the state.
- The Atlas of Victorian Birds (1987. p. 141) makes no mention of the
pre-1900 record but notes that 'The Victorian range of Red-tailed
Black-Cockatoos has decreased substantially since the early days of
settlement...' and 'The small population in southwestern Victoria and
adjacent South Australia appears to be a distinct subspecies'.
- HANZAB (vol. 4, p. 41-42) mentions that '..occasionally recorded (at the)
Grampians; four or five observed at Lorne June 1979. Range formally
extended east to Ballarat to north west of Melbourne.  Records from East
Gippsland refer to mis-identified C. lathami (Glossy Black-Cockatoo).  And
under 'Change in range': 'Once extended to plains west and north west of
Melbourne and into Central Highlands.
- In Victoria the subspecies Calyptorhynchus banksii graptogyne was listed
as a threatened species under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act in 1991and
is classified as 'Endangered' on the official government list of threatened
vertebrate fauna (Menkhorst 2003).

In all this, there is no mention of the species ever being recorded from
near Melbourne, especially in recent years, so anyone who thinks they've
seen the species should immediately record all details and forward them to
the Atlas of Victorian Wildlife or Birds Australia.

The Action Statement (management plan) for Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos is
no. 37 and can be found on the Dept of Sustainability & Environment web
site ( under 'Plants & animals', 'Native plants &
animals', 'Flora and Fauna Guarantee') or I can send hard copies to those
interested (please provide a mailing address)

I'm happy to send AVW record cards/sheets to anyone interested.


Martin O'Brien
Executive Scientific Officer, Scientific Advisory Committee
Department of Sustainability and Environment
4/250 Victoria Pde. (PO Box 500), East Melbourne  3002

Tel: 9412 4567  Fax: 9412 4586
(prefixes: Interstate 03 International 613)

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