Documentary ABC1 TV next Tuesday (Mar13 2012) night at 8.30pm
"On A Wing And A Prayer
On A Wing And A Prayer follows the incredible life cycle of the Carnaby's
cockatoo through the engaging story of one small cockatoo family. Capturing a
remarkable never filmed before journey of life and love for one of Australia's
most loved, but critically endangered birds.
Playful, mischievous and highly intelligent, Carnaby's cockatoos are typical
Aussies, larger than life, rowdy, fun-loving and loud, their booming calls
heard long before you even catch sight of them.
A strong part of Australian folklore, these cockatoos used to be called 'rain
birds' by the early settlers. As they migrated back to their breeding grounds,
their screeches and squawks were a sign of good luck. Sadly, the booming call
of the Carnaby's cockatoo is more akin to a cry for help.
Only found in the south-west of Western Australia a tiny pocket of birds
remains and these are permanently under threat. Some are still being smuggled
for private collections. Others are illegally shot. Together with land
clearing, loss of native food habitat and injury from man-made structures, the
Carnaby's cockatoo is plummeting towards extinction.
Species recovery is an uphill struggle. While it is thought they pair for life,
the birds are lucky if they raise one chick a season. The odds are against them
and hope for their future lies in the hands of the local community, and one man
in particular, DEC Senior Wildlife Investigator Rich Dawson.
This year Rick is determined to protect one small family of Carnaby's cockatoos
at a 'high risk' nesting site. With their species numbers halved over the last
forty years, it is vital for the survival of their kind that they breed and
Rick will do whatever it takes to make it happen."
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