Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo is a large white-tailed black cockatoo found only in the south west corner of Western Australia. It has a number of aliases – Ngoolark, its Noongar name (after its call), white-tailed black-cockatoo and short bill cockatoo. Its scientific name Calyptorhynchus latirostris roughly translates to hidden bill, wide bill.
Once numerous, the charismatic and highly mobile Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo is now classified by the Western Australian Government as ‘rare or likely to become extinct’ and by the Australian Government as Endangered. The last 50 years has seen a 50% decline in the population and their range has been reduced by up to one third.
It is one of three black cockatoos found in south west WA. The others are Baudin’s Black-Cockatoo and a subspecies of the Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo. These birds are endemic to the area, meaning that they are found nowhere else in the world. All three are threatened. Because the cockatoos are long lived birds (up to 50 years) and they raise few chicks to adulthood it is highly likely that the birds we see today are an ageing population. Therefore protecting remaining habitat as well as the birds themselves is critical for the species survival.
Lake Sepping area, Albany in Western Australia
Canon 7D, 100-400 mm canon lens