South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo. Photo by Andrew Silcocks

South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo. Photo by Andrew Silcocks

Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo Recovery Program


Project Location: South-east Australia


The South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo (SERTBC; Calyptorhynchus banksii graptogyneis one of Australia’s most endangered bird species, with a critically small population of around 1500 individuals. Its range is limited to the south-east of South Australia and south-western Victoria, where it feeds on the seeds of only three tree species. This ecological specialty leaves the SERTBC extremely vulnerable to the loss and deterioration of suitable habitats. 

Since 1997, the SERTBC Recovery Team and its partners have been collaborating with the community to protect this rare bird and its preferred habitat. This Recovery Program has three key components. The first is population monitoring, including an annual count to study flock locations and habitat use, as well as feeding and breeding habits. The second is to monitor and to mitigate threats to the cockatoo. This involves close collaboration with partners and community groups to identify, protect, and restore important habitats. The Recovery Team works to minimise the impact of threats, such as fires and land clearance, and to establish resources such as SERTBC feeding and nesting sites.

Finally, the project has a strong community engagement and education focus. A wide range of resources have been created to spread awareness and understanding around the SERTBC, and work is actively done with community groups to increase their knowledge and participation in the recovery effort. Like many projects, the Recovery Program relies heavily on the help and support of volunteers, with around 250 volunteers contributing their time each year.

If you would like to assist in our annual count, or become involved in the program in any other capacity, please contact the project coordinator, Bronwyn Perryman, on 1800 262 062, or email redtail@birdlife.org.au. For more information please visit the website.  


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 Splendid Fairy-wren. Photo by Andrew Silcocks

Splendid Fairy-wren. Photo by Andrew Silcocks