Western Corella Conservation

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Western Corella Conservation
From: "Simon Mustoe" <>
Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2006 07:31:39 +0800

The debate on Western Corella conservation is interesting. Is there any direct 
evidence of eastern long-billed having a displacement impact?

The subspecies Cacatua pastinator pastinator (southern form) is listed as 
"vulnerable" to extinction under the EPBC Act. I wonder why the other 
subspecies isn't listed similarly given the restricted range and, according to 
HANZAB, relatively low numbers. It may be because it was considered to be 
increasing in the recent past. If this is still the case then perhaps it isn;t 
a conservation priority. If however, the species is again declining, then it 
may be an issue.

One thing worth bearing in mind with any bird dependent on agricultural zones 
is that relatively small changes in farming practice can have significant 
impacts. Coming from a country (England) that has seen declines of up to 95% in 
25 years for otherwise common farmland birds, I am concerned that close 
attention is paid to agricultural policy. Small shifts in farming incentives or 
the introduction of new technology such as pesticides, can have a sudden and 
dramatic macro-environmental impact. If eastern long-billed corella is taking a 
foothold, this might be one of only a number of obvious potential pressures, 
particularly if eastern long-billed is more capable of withstanding the impact 
than the local species - not to mention the potential interspecific competition 
posed by little corella which, according to HANZAB, has also expanded its 
range. Both little corella and eastern long-billed are known to exploit 
agricultural areas in the east and do quite successfully. I wonder if this is 
enough evidence to suppose that the species are less susceptible to 
agricultural intensification than western corella and would therefore, be 
likely to outcompete it?




Simon Mustoe, Director

AES Applied Ecology Solutions Pty. Ltd
39 The Crescent
Belgrave Heights
Victoria 3160

Tel +61 (0)3 9752 6398
Fax +61 (0)3 9754 6083
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