K.I. Glossies

To: (Keith Martin)
Subject: K.I. Glossies
From: Keith Martin <>
Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 18:29:34 +0930 (CST)
I am just recently back from Kangaroo Island where I was assisting on
the Kangaroo Island Glossy Black Cockatoo recovery program. For those that
are unfamiliar with the geography, Kangaroo Island is Australia's third largest
island, just off the South Australian coast, and is proud to be a fox and rabbit
free zone (alas not a koala free zone.. but that's another story...) K.I. has
a small isolated population of Glossy Black Cockatoos, around 150-180 birds,
and work is underway to try to secure the existing population.

The main issue is to determine what the main threats are to the Glossies, and
in particular what factors are affecting the birds' breeding success on the
island. Previous studies suggested that lack of breeding hollows were the main
restriction, however the current work seems to be suggesting that predation
by possums may be more significant.

We saw plenty evidence that the Glossies are attempting to breed again this
season, but full results will not be known for a few months yet. Most positively
there seems to have been a good deal of support and interest in the project from
the local islanders. Many are taking part in the project by filling in report
forms and some are monitoring local nest sites. Although it is always easier
to drum up public support for big, bright, noticeable birds like Glossy Black
Cockatoos, I was pleased to see locals enthusing over the fact that the
cockatoos choose to munch the casuarina cones in their backyards. A local artist
Bryon Buick has also produced a poster and notepaper, proceeds of which partly
go to the Glossy Black project fund (I can take orders... !!)

If anyone wishes more details of the project or wishes to assist by means of
volunteer work or donation then I can provide (contact) details. It's probably
out of order to suggest that you combine your trip with a spot of koala bagging,
so I won't say it...


   Keith Martin

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