Do you want to know why every year we survey the Gang-gang cockatoo?
The Gang-gang Cockatoo is such a distinctive and appealing bird that it is the faunal emblem for the ACT. It is part of the logos of both Canberra Ornithologists Group and ACT Parks, Conservation and Lands.
Gang-gang Cockatoos are often seen in the gardens of Canberra’s inner suburbs, particularly those near the bushland reserves of Black Mountain, Aranda and Mt Ainslie. They are usually found in pairs or small parties, often feeding on cotoneaster or pyracantha berries, or on the cones of cypress. The Gang-gang is one of the few birds that feed on saw fly larvae and may work through a whole clump, one grub at a time.
Gang-gangs are more often recorded in autumn and winter since most birds leave in spring to breed in the surrounding ranges. Some birds stay to breed locally. Gang-gang observations dropped to a low in 1987-1989 but had risen again by 1998. Most breeding sightings are of dependent young.
One of the ACT’s most recognisable bird speacies could soon be formally listed as endangered.
The federal Environment Department is considering whether to include the gang-gang cockatoo on the threatened species list.
A final decision as to whether to include the bird species on the list is not expected to be made until at least April 2022, but the department has opened up submissions on whether the gang-gang should be listed as endangered.
Endangered is the fourth-most serious category on the threatened species list, only after extinct, extinct in the wild or critically endangered.
Currently, there are 168 animal species classified as endangered in Australia, including 55 types of birds.
Because of all this situation, every year a Gang-gang Cockatoo survey in September-October is launched to observe them. However, as ACT’s lockdown measures have been extended, it is with great disappointment that we can no longer run this community event.
Nevertheless, I can record my observations, particularly breeding behaviour or foraging information, on the citizen science platform NatureMapr. This is an innovative, regionally focused citizen science platform relied upon by government, research and environmental organisations across Australia. NatureMapr was founded in 2013 and is proudly Australian made, owned and hosted.
You can help the scientific world by downloading the application, here, and writing down all your observations of the fauna surrounding you