Zanda latirostris 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Psittaciformes Cacatuidae

Scientific Name: Zanda latirostris
Species Authority: (Carnaby, 1948)
Common Name(s):
English Short-billed Black-cockatoo, Short-billed Black Cockatoo, Carnaby’s Cockatoo, Short-billed Black-Cockatoo, Slender-billed Black-Cockatoo
Calyptorhynchus latirostris Carnaby, 1948
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Taxonomic Notes: Zanda latirostris (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Calyptorhynchus.
Identification information: 54-56 cm. Large, black cockatoo. Adult male has large black bill, erectile crest, white patch on ear-coverts and white panels in tail. Female similar except patch on ear-coverts slightly bigger and yellowish white and bill is bone-coloured rather than black or greyish black. Juvenile similar to adult female. Similar spp. May be confused with Long-billed Black-cockatoo C. baudinii, but calls slightly different and tip of upper mandible much shorter, and appears broader when seen head-on, although good views are necessary. Distinguished from Red-tailed Black-cockatoo C. banksii by white panels in tail. Voice Generally noisy with several calls, loudest and most frequent is wailing wy-lah.(C. baudinii similar but sightly 'clipped'). Hints Formerly widespread in the Western Australian wheatbelt and on Swan Coastal Plain. Also occurs in forested areas, overlapping in distribution with C. baudinii. Usually seen in small groups, sometimes large flocks.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2bcde ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Burbidge, A., Chapman, T., Mawson, P. & Saunders, D.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Garnett, S., McClellan, R., Taylor, J., Allinson, T & Symes, A.
This species is listed as Endangered as it is assumed that the extensive loss of feeding and breeding habitat has resulted in a very rapid, and continuing, decline over three generations (43 years).

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Zanda latirostris is endemic to south-western Australia. Between the 1970s and 1990s, the species disappeared from over one third of its range (Saunders 1990, Saunders and Ingram 1998), with both local extinctions and reduced density in occupied areas, although it has recently been expanding into partially cleared forest habitat along the western fringe of its former range. Its current range covers a large area from the mouth of the Murchison River, north of Geraldton on the mid-north coast east of Esperance on the south coast (Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia 2012). Most breeding occurs in the inland parts of its range in areas receiving between 300 and 750mm of annual average rainfall (Saunders 1974a, Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia 2012). The total population is estimated at c.40,000 individuals (Department of  Environment and Conservation, Western Australia 2012), now divided into two subpopulations: one to the north of a line between Perth and Merredin and the other to the south east of Perth (White et al. 2014). Surveys carried out in the Swan region show that the number of roosting birds declined 37% between 2010 and 2015 (Kabat et al. 2012, Byrne et al. 2015). The number of roosts with 151-500 cockatoos reduced by 42% and no roosts had more than 500 birds. The 2016 citizen science Cocky Count revealed an increase in numbers from newly discovered roosting sites (Peck 2016), though analysis of data in the Swan Coastal District between 2010-2014 showed a 14% decline per year due to a combination of reduced occupied roosts and reduced roost size  (Williams et al. 2015). There is however some variation and uncertainty in the data, with Groom (2015) showing that in some years more than 30% of the roosts used on the night of these annual surveys are unknown to survey participants.

Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:196000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):NoExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:11-100Continuing decline in number of locations:Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The total population is estimated to number c.40,000 individuals, based on the expert opinion of the members of the Carnaby’s Cockatoo Recovery Team members.  No detailed survey of the population has been conducted to provide a more accurate figure (P Mawson in litt. 2016).

Trend Justification:  Direct counts, numbers of breeding females, a decrease in the area of occupancy and decline in the quality of habitat indicate that this species's abundance has at least halved over the last three generations, and that this decline is likely to continue (Garnett and Crowley 2000; Garnett et al. 2011).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:1Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:Yes
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:100

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It forages in woodland, shrubland and heathland, usually breeding in areas receiving 350-700 mm annual average rainfall (Saunders 1974, 1980). Flocks of non-breeding birds then move to coastal areas, where pine plantations have become important feeding and roosting sites since the 1930s (Saunders 1980, Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia 2012). It eats seeds of Hakea, Grevillea, Banksia (which now includes Dryandra), Allocasuarina, Eucalyptus, but also feeds on the seeds of weeds and exotic pines, insect larvae and nectar (Saunders 1974b, 1980, 1982, 1990, Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia 2012). The species has also been recorded damaging persimmon and nut crops and the shoots of trees in orchards (Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia 2012). Its breeding success is dependent on the presence of heathland feeding areas within 12 km of its nesting habitat (Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia 2012, Saunders et al. 2014a, Saunders and Ingram 1987, Saunders 1982). It nests in hollows in large eucalypts, primarily salmon gum E. salmonophloia and wandoo E. wandoo. It is also now frequently found nesting in marri Corymbia calophylla, jarrah E. marginate, tuart E. gomphocephala and karri E. diversicolor forests (Saunders 1979aDepartment of  Environment and Conservation, Western Australia 2012). It is a long-lived species; females appear not to breed until they are at least four years old (Saunders 1982, 1986, Saunders and Ingram 1998), and the oldest known female was at least 25 in 2009 (Saunders et al. 2011a) and subsequently 30 in 2014 (Saunders et al. unpublished data) and the oldest known male was 34 when found dead in 2008 (Saunders and Dawson 2009, Saunders et al. 2011). Observations suggest that pairs remain together until the death of one of the partners (Saunders 1982). The eggs are usually laid between early July and late September (Saunders 1990, Saunders et al. 2013), with timing of egg-laying being strongly influenced by rainfall in the first half of autumn (Saunders et al. 2013). Egg laying may continue into October or November (Saunders and Ingram 1998, Saunders et al. 2013). Less than half of the nest hollows available in an area of breeding habitat may remain unoccupied due to aggressive interactions between females during the selection and preparation of hollows (Saunders 1982). It is known that some females return to the same nest hollows in successive years provided they have been successful the previous breeding season, and the hollow is unoccupied when they return to breed (Saunders 1982, 1990). The species usually lays two eggs on average up to eight days apart. The second to hatch usually dies within 48 hours (Saunders 1982, Saunders et al. 2014a). In good seasons experienced females may fledge both nestlings (Saunders et al. 2014a). The incubation period is 28-29 days (Saunders 1979b, 1982). Successful fledging of two chicks occurs in up to 6% of nesting attempts (Saunders et al. 2014a). Juveniles remain with their parents until they return to the breeding area at the start of the following season, and in some cases may associate with their parents for longer (Saunders 1982). This behaviour may be linked with the acquisition of knowledge and skills required for foraging (Saunders 1982).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):14.3
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Since the 1950s, ca.87% of the feeding habitat for breeding birds has been cleared for agriculture (P. Mawson in litt. 2016). Remnants are fragmented, threatened by rising soil salinity and weed invasion, and are often so far from nesting areas that growth rate and survival of nestlings are affected and eventually breeding ceases altogether (Saunders 1982, 1986). Fires and the introduced plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi have also degraded large tracts of suitable habitat. Breeding habitat has also been extensively cleared and, for at least 60 years, there has been little regeneration of nest trees because of grazing by sheep and rabbits (Saunders et al. 2003, 2014b). In the district of Coomallo Creek, between 1969 and 1982, a decrease in the percentage cover of native vegetation from 67% to 34% coincided with a decrease in the breeding population of the species by one third (Saunders 1986). As habitat is cleared, the species is likely to become more susceptible to human-related threats such as collisions with cars and shooting (Saunders 1982, Saunders et al. 2003, Le Souef 2012). Many patches of native habitat are situated near human settlements and traversed by roads and railway lines (Saunders 1990), and birds may become increasingly reliant on commercial crops (Saunders 1982, Jackson 2009). As habitat becomes patchy, local populations may fail to locate suitable feeding areas (Saunders 1990). The species's long pair bonds and high breeding-site fidelity may mean that birds do not disperse following disturbance and may persist at the same breeding sites until all habitat in an area is cleared or the local population dies out (Saunders 1982, 1986). Clearing for agriculture in the wheatbelt has left little kwongan vegetation, which the species requires for feeding, adjacent to the woodland patches in which it nests (Saunders and Ingram 1998). Nest-hollow availability is almost certainly limiting breeding as loss of large natural hollows exceeds the creation of hollows in native vegetation (Saunders et al. 2014b). In addition, competition with feral bees and other cockatoo species has adversely affected breeding Carnaby's cockatoos (Saunders 1974, 1982, 1990, Saunders et al. 2014c). For example, the Galah Eolophus roseicapilla has been recorded damaging unguarded eggs, and such interference caused the failure of 7% of recorded nesting attempts in one area during the 1970s (Saunders 1990). Much of the feeding habitat of non-breeding birds has been cleared, and many birds throughout their range now seasonally feed on pines (Stock et al. 2013) and native proteaceous species (Johnston et al. 2016). On the Swan Coastal Plain, pines provide much of the birds' food (Perry 1948, Saunders 1974b, 1980). These pines have now reached maturity, and are being harvested and most will not be replaced, resulting in a food shortage (Valentine and Stock 2008, Stock et al. 2013). A 'Green Growth Plan' for urban development in Perth that ignores the needs of this species is also a threat (Douglas and Peck 2016). Nest-robbing for domestic trade has declined, but damage to nest hollows occurs when birds are taken for illegal export. In October 2009 an unknown disease killed up to 23 females in a single breeding colony at Koobabbie in the northern wheatbelt (Saunders et al. 2011). A heatwave in January 2010 is known to have killed at least 145 birds near Hopetoun and 63 at Munglinup on the south coast, and 57 birds were killed and 24 injured by a hailstorm in the Perth metropolitan area in March 2010 (Saunders et al. 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The Department of Parks and Wildlife, with the support of Denis Saunders, continues to monitor the breeding population at Coomallo Creek (Saunders and Ingram 1998, Saunders et al. 2013, 2014a, b).  They are currently providing artificial hollows in the Coomallo Creek study area, and there are now 62 artificial hollows availableIn the breeding season of 2015 artificial hollows provided 40% of available hollows and 54.5% of breeding attempts were made in artificial hollows (Saunders and Dawson unpublished data). The Department of Parks and Wildlife are installing artificial hollows in a number of breeding areas in the northern and southeastern populations. CITES Appendix II. BirdLife Australia, with the support of the Department of Parks and Wildlife, carries out annual roost surveys in the Perth region (Kabat et al. 2012).  In 2002, a Recovery Plan was put in place by the Department of Environment and Conservation (Cale 2003). A revised recovery plan has been completed (Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia 2012). BirdLife Australia (formerly Birds Australia) instigated its Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo Recovery Project in 2000 (Garnett et al. 2011). The project works with local communities in south-west Australia to collect important data, raise awareness and manage important habitat. Over 2,500 people have been involved in the project since it started (Fossey 2013). The species is protected from hunting and persecution by law (Department of  Environment and Conservation, Western Australia 2012). Management actions completed or under way include the identification and protection of significant breeding areas, particularly stands of E. salmonophloia and E. wandoo, protection and maintenance of known nests, erection of more than 210 artificial nest hollows, re-establishment of feeding habitat, notably with Banksia, cooperation between conservation authorities and the avicultural industry, including improvement of husbandry techniques for keeping the species in captivity, management of captive-breeding stock and refinement of DNA fingerprinting in order to identify the source of all captive birds, distinguish any subpopulations and determine any loss of genetic diversity within regions or subpopulations (White et al. 2014). Advice sheets have been prepared on black cockatoo survey methods, development referral guidelines, use of artificial hollows – all of which are available at a single source (Department of Parks and Wildlife 2016). BirdLife Western Australia have written to the government about the Green Growth Plan and amendments needed to secure the future of this species in Perth (Douglas and Peck 2016) and have formally requested that a moratorium on clear-felling of the Gnanagara pine plantations be considered by the Western Australian Government (Vine and Howard 2014).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation throughout its range. Quantify the level and extent of capture for trade. Continue restoration of habitat for breeding birds. Create native habitat corridors to link areas of native vegetation, especially in extensively cleared agricultural areas such as the Western Australian wheatbelt (Saunders 1990). Satisfy avicultural demand with a collaborative captive-breeding programme. Protect nesting trees, erect artificial hollows at locations where nest hollows are considered a limiting resource and promote regeneration by exclusion of livestock and rabbits (Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia 2012).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Zanda latirostris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22684733A93044196. . Downloaded on 19 January 2017.
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