Fiona Stanley Hospital supports historical conservation discovery

August 24, 2011

An environmental project led by the Murdoch Environmental Restoration Group (MERG) has resulted in an exciting and historical discovery of the only known Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo to be nesting within the Perth Metropolitan area.

The project has been supported by the Fiona Stanley Hospital, which provided a funding of $15,000, administered through the 2010 round of the State Government’s Environmental Community Grants.

MERG developed an environmental initiative for weed control and seed collection for Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo habitat conservation. The team installed and monitored Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo nesting tubes, which have been called cocktatubes. In July 2011, MERG discovered a red-tail cockatoo nesting in one of the tubes.

“The red tail is the first of its kind to nest in an artificial hollow and the only red-tail known to be nesting within the Perth Metropolitan area,” commented Caroline Minton, Murdoch University’s Environmental Program Manager.

The cockatoo was briefly removed from the nest tube in July to be leg banded and DNA sampled. Since then the chick has fledged from the nest and has been spotted flying around the campus with its parents.

“We have had quite a few phone calls and inquiries from the community to try out the tubes, following the discovery of the red-tail cockatoo,” said Ms Minton.

“This project highlights the importance of not only protecting our existing species of wildlife but also the need to proactively work to re-introduce these unique species in our community.”

The $15,000 funding from Fiona Stanley Hospital was instrumental in purchasing the cocktatubes and hiring a cherry picker to place the tubes in the trees.

“The Fiona Stanley Project is proud to be able to support the vital contribution that the Murdoch Environmental Restoration Group makes to protect and conserve our community’s local wildlife,” commented Brad Sebbes, Executive Director of Fiona Stanley Hospital.

This funded project is a part of Fiona Stanley Hospital’s $2.3 million commitment to support offsite conservation programs and environmental initiatives.

The hospital’s project team has also recently supported three other conservation activities as part of the 2011 round of the Environmental Community Grants.