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Old 01-23-2020, 03:01 PM
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Unhappy Australian wild parrots after the bushfires

Everything is based on one article.
Recently in Australia there are also hailstorms. In Canberra at the end of this week hailstones fell as big as golf balls and killed hundreds and thousands of birds Few people said they saw birds literally falling from the sky Somebody shared a photo of a cockatoo which was found death in his garden:


The bushfires directly affect 20 animal species that may be at risk of extinction. Among the parrots, the most affected are glossy black cockatoos, subspecies C. l. halmaturinus. About 1/3 of Kangaroo Island (where they live) is burnt, other parts still are in danger and this species lost a lot of food.


Another affected parrot is western ground parrot. Their current population is 150 and they are one of few parrot species which have nests on the ground


The photo and infos are from the side https://www.ararauna.cz/2020/01/tvrd...MxUTDvUqDr4agg
(Please be warned, the link contains a disturbing image)
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Last edited by Scott; 01-24-2020 at 12:14 AM. Reason: Removed disturbing image, inserted caution for link
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Old 01-23-2020, 03:07 PM
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Re: Australian wild parrots after the bushfires

This is horrifying...thanks Roz for the info



Jim
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Old 01-24-2020, 05:28 AM
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Re: Australian wild parrots after the bushfires

Yep, itís not good down here in NSW and Victoria. For our overseas members, I do feel that I need to put the fires in perspective however; the fires are mainly in NSW and Victorian states, the largest fire being in NSW which so far has scorched land roughly the size of England (which isnít much when you consider how massively huge Australia actually is). The point Iím trying to make is that the whole country isnít actually on fire, which is how it seems to be being reported abroad and I think in Europe the perception that the whole country is on fire is mainly because the fires we are having are essentially the size of a moderate european country.

Now, having said that it is horrible. Kangaroo Island is a charred hot mess and god knows what NSW will look like after this abnormal fire season. Authorities are now planning/doing water and food drops to sustain the remaining wildlife, whilst rehabbers are caring after some seriously traumatised animals (some so much so that although they are physically healthy enough to be released they are refusing to leave what they consider the shelter of the rehabbers).

If anyone overseas would like to support our bird life in particular, please consider donating to BirdLife Australiaís current bushfire appeal; https://birdlife.org.au/current-appeal
This is our dedicated bird-only wildlife charity in Australia.

Australia Zoo, Taronga Zoo, and WIRES are also all collecting bushfire appeal donations, which is going towards all our precious Australian wildlife.
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Old 01-24-2020, 06:13 AM
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Re: Australian wild parrots after the bushfires

Yes, echoing what Ezekiell said.

AFAIK, the Western Ground Parrot is not directly affected at the moment, since rain enabled the threatening fire to be contained. Of course, that could change again in very short order. There are only a couple of hundred individuals left of that species!

Glossy Black Cockatoos were certainly found on Kangaroo Island (doubtful whether there are any left there), but they also live in other parts of NSW. I've seen them in a local mountain habitat, so I know they're thriving there, at least for now. I worry for the population farther north, though. The Glossies in the Widden Valley were healthy and increasing in numbers, but the Gospers Mountain fire would have affected them directly, so I'm waiting anxiously to know how they fared.

Regarding the hail storms: yes, they certainly take a toll on our birds, especially when the hailstones are large. However, that's not an unusual occurrence and native birds are geared to cope with such events by taking appropriate shelter. Hopefully, wildlife carers can assist the unfortunates who are injured, but we certainly mourn the casualties!

Off Topic Story about hail storms:

We had such a hailstorm in 1974. What fun! All the big plate glass windows in the front rooms of our house were smashed and gallons of water poured in, ruining Mum's newly-installed Axminster carpet. My velvet riding hat was destroyed by hailstones that entered through the window and knocked it off the table, pelting it and stripping away all the velvet covering! Bl**dy h*ll! My poor mare was outside when the hail hit and she was covered in cuts and bruises. I had a jolly old time, trying to get her to stop rearing and actually go into her stable. When she eventually went indoors, the sound of the hail on the tin roof terrified her. I ended up stuffing her ears with torn-up hessian: that did the trick! Our family car wound up being polka-dotted by hailstones and was eventually written off by the insurance company. The hailstones also significantly dented the corrugated iron roofs of both the shed and the stable (imagine the force required to do that!)

The worst result of that storm, however, was the complete removal of every grain of sand off Newcastle Beach! (NB. N'cle Beach is notorious for its lovely long stretch of clean golden sand). No living person had ever seen the beach naked and it was fascinating to those of us with a biological bent to get down among the rocks and see creatures washed up that had never been seen before. There were countless Blue-ringed Octopi dead on the shore as well as seabirds (gulls, shearwaters, petrels etc) and lots of fish, all killed by the unusually pounding seas that accompanied the storm. The underlying rocks were hugely interesting, as no one had known exactly how flat and oddly-sculpted the rock platform actually was. It took roughly ten years for the sand to be replaced by continuous long-shore wave motion (ie. the natural way in which beaches are formed).
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:33 AM
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Re: Australian wild parrots after the bushfires

Thankfully I know of a lot of good private bird keepers keeping the Glossy black Cockies, so if the worse comes to worse, we'll still have some pretty good captive populations ready for reintroduction when necessary
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:37 AM
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Re: Australian wild parrots after the bushfires

Quote: Originally Posted by Betrisher View Post
Glossy Black Cockatoos were certainly found on Kangaroo Island (doubtful whether there are any left there), but they also live in other parts of NSW. I've seen them in a local mountain habitat, so I know they're thriving there, at least for now. I worry for the population farther north, though. The Glossies in the Widden Valley were healthy and increasing in numbers, but the Gospers Mountain fire would have affected them directly, so I'm waiting anxiously to know how they fared.
I don't if you noticed - I didn't mean Glossy black cockies as a species, I wrote the English name of the species and latin name of subspecies - C. l. halmaturinus. I checked their subspecies don't have English names (or Wikipedia is wrong, I was correcting it not only once time) so I decided to wrote it as "glossy black cockatoos, subspecies C. l. halmaturinus". This subspecies lives only on Kangaroo Island, I know about two other subspecies which live on continental Australia
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Old 01-24-2020, 11:02 AM
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Re: Australian wild parrots after the bushfires

Sorry about that, Rozalka. Yes, on re-reading I see what you meant. Well, it looks pretty black for the Kangaroo Island subspecies. There were only a couple of hundred of them and two-thirds of the island has been burnt. I can't imagine a great survival rate, but maybe I'm totally wrong there. I hope so.

The specific differences between the Kangaroo Island Glossies and the mainland species (C.lathami lathami and C.lathami erebus) are small, so AFAIK, no one breeds the Kang.Is. ones in captivity.

My husband's uncle had a breeding pair of C.l.lathami and I remembering him saying they were *extremely* particular about where and when they would nest. The didn't breed every year, but I don't know whether that was normal for the species or because the particular pair was unhappy with its environment. The same man had breeding pairs of most of our large parrots, including a magnificent pair of Palm Cockatoos. Sadly, he passed away a few years ago and his birds have gone to live out their lives in a sanctuary.

As Noahs Birds suggests, it may be that captive breeding stock will become very important in the near future.

PS. Glossy Black Cockatoos feed exclusively on the cones of sheoak or river oak trees (Casuarina species) - hence the massive mandibles for opening the cones. If the sheoaks have been seriously burnt out, then the Glossies' food source would indeed be seriously threatened. It takes a *lot* of sheoaks to feed a pair of Glossies!

Last edited by Betrisher; 01-24-2020 at 11:05 AM. Reason: Addenda
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Old 01-24-2020, 08:56 PM
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Re: Australian wild parrots after the bushfires

Quote: Originally Posted by Betrisher View Post
Sorry about that, Rozalka. Yes, on re-reading I see what you meant. Well, it looks pretty black for the Kangaroo Island subspecies. There were only a couple of hundred of them and two-thirds of the island has been burnt. I can't imagine a great survival rate, but maybe I'm totally wrong there. I hope so.

The specific differences between the Kangaroo Island Glossies and the mainland species (C.lathami lathami and C.lathami erebus) are small, so AFAIK, no one breeds the Kang.Is. ones in captivity.

My husband's uncle had a breeding pair of C.l.lathami and I remembering him saying they were *extremely* particular about where and when they would nest. The didn't breed every year, but I don't know whether that was normal for the species or because the particular pair was unhappy with its environment. The same man had breeding pairs of most of our large parrots, including a magnificent pair of Palm Cockatoos. Sadly, he passed away a few years ago and his birds have gone to live out their lives in a sanctuary.

As Noahs Birds suggests, it may be that captive breeding stock will become very important in the near future.

PS. Glossy Black Cockatoos feed exclusively on the cones of sheoak or river oak trees (Casuarina species) - hence the massive mandibles for opening the cones. If the sheoaks have been seriously burnt out, then the Glossies' food source would indeed be seriously threatened. It takes a *lot* of sheoaks to feed a pair of Glossies!
Betrisher, I don't suppose the bloke with the Palm cockies and Glossy Blacks was Neville Connors from Casurina Parrot gardens down in Grafton, who indeed passed away a few years ago? PS: if it was him, Neville unfortunately never bred the Palm cockies

Black cockies can be unreliable breeders if the pair does not a have a strong enough bond, and indeed are very picky and only good results are obtained with specialised, high fat diets with added natural supplements such as She-Oak nuts and other forms of food to extrude their diet.
Once you get going with a good pair, they will be fairly good breeders if you get the cycles right every year.
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:05 AM
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Re: Australian wild parrots after the bushfires

No, not Neville Connors. He was just a person who loved native parrots and converted his entire back yard into a gigantic aviary containing live trees and shrubs and rope rigging (he was a rigger by trade) as well as a waterfall. The same bloke had a shingleback lizard and an olive python who lived free-range in his house. I'll never forget the time my husband nearly sat down on the lizard! I think Chris might have slaughtered him if he hadn't leaped up at the last instant when Chris shouted 'Geddup, ya bugger!'

None of these birds bred because that's not why he had them. He just provided them a spacious, interesting home and enjoyed interacting with them every day.
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Old 01-25-2020, 07:19 AM
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Re: Australian wild parrots after the bushfires

You would think that in a world where we can control so much that we (collectively) would be able to stop something like this from happening. I know it isn't the case and that everyone did everything they could, but it is mind-boggling that things could get so bad...Is there any sort of preventative barrier in the works that might keep something like this from spreading in the future? I know there are things like that, but I just feel like there must be a better way....
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