Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Forest Black Cockatoo (Baudin's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus baudinii and Forest Redtailed Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) Recovery Plan (Chapman, T., 2008) [Recovery Plan].
Policy Statements and Guidelines Referral guidelines for three species of Western Australian black cockatoos (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012p) [Admin Guideline].
Survey Guidelines for Australia's Threatened Birds. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.2 (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2010l) [Admin Guideline].
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
State Listing Status
WA: Listed as Endangered (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013 list)
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Endangered (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
NGO: Listed as Endangered (The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2010)
Scientific name Calyptorhynchus baudinii [769]
Family Cacatuidae:Psittaciformes:Aves:Chordata:Animalia
Species author Lear,1832
Infraspecies author  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Calyptorhynchus baudinii

Common name: Baudin's Black-Cockatoo

Other common names: Long-billed Black-Cockatoo or White-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Higgins 1999)

This species is conventionally accepted (Christidis & Boles 1994; Sibley & Monroe 1990). Baudin's Black-Cockatoo and Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) were formerly treated as a single species, the White-tailed Black-Cockatoo (C. baudinii) (Higgins 1999; Saunders 1979).

Baudin's Black-Cockatoo is a large cockatoo that measures 50–57 cm in length, with a wingspan of approximately 110 cm, and a mass of 560–770 g. It is mostly dull black in colour, with pale whitish margins on the feathers, large, rounded patches (white to yellowish-white in the female and dusky-white to brownish-white in the male) on the ear coverts, and rectangular white panels in the tail. It has a large bill (with a very elongated upper mandible) that is coloured black in the male and whitish-grey with a black tip in the female; a dark brown iris that is surrounded by a reddish-pink eye-ring in the male and a grey eye-ring in the female; a short, rounded, erectile crest; and grey feet (Higgins 1999; Johnstone & Storr 1998). Juvenile birds are like the adults in appearance, but the bill of the juvenile male is like that of the adult female. The bill of the juvenile male begins to darken after the second year (Johnstone & Storr 1998).

Baudin's Black-Cockatoo is gregarious. It is usually seen in groups of three (comprising the adult pair and a single dependent young) or in small parties, but will occasionally gather in large flocks of up to 300 birds during the non-breeding season, usually at sites where food is abundant (Higgins 1999; Storr 1991). During the breeding season, adults nest in solitary pairs (Blyth 2005, pers. comm.).

Baudin's Black-Cockatoo occurs in south-west Western Australia (WA). The range of the species, which is generally bounded by the 750 mm isohyet, extends from Albany northward to Gidgegannup and Mundaring (east of Perth), and inland to the Stirling Ranges and near Kojonup (Davies 1966; DSEWPaC 2012p; Saunders 1974b, 1979; Saunders et al. 1985; Storr 1991). Breeding has been recorded to the south-west of the area bounded by Leschenault, Collie and Albany (DSEWPaC 2012p), with the most northerly record at Lowden, near Donnybrook (Johnstone & Storr 1998). Breeding has also been recorded at Serpentine (hills area) and east to Kojonup and near Albany (Johnstone & Kirkby 2008).

The range of Baudin's Black-Cockatoo varies substantially between the breeding and non-breeding seasons. During the breeding season (from August onwards), the species nests in the far south-west of WA, within Karri forests. The range then expands during the non-breeding season (from March) as flocks forage more widely, congregating on the central and northern parts of the Darling Scarp, as far as Mundaring and Gidgegannup (DSEWPaC 2012p; Saunders 1974b, 1979). Some flocks also move on to the southern Swan Coastal Plain and south coast during the non-breeding season (DSEWPaC 2012p).

The southern and northern limits of the species range, from Albany to Mundaring, are for the most part connected by extensive tracts of forest (Saunders 1979). This, together with the dispersion of recent records, suggests that overall, the distribution of Baudin's Black-Cockatoo is not particularly fragmented. However, there is considerable fragmentation of the habitat at the southern limits of the distribution, where the continuity of the population is probably dependent upon a relatively narrow strip of coastal forest (Blyth 2005, pers. comm.).

Small captive populations are held at Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria, and at Perth Zoological Gardens in WA (ISIS 2005a). The species breeds reluctantly in captivity (Garnett 1993).

Extent of occurrence and area of occupancy
Baudin's Black-Cockatoo extent of occurrence is estimated at 70 000 km² with a stable trend (Garnett et al. 2011). This is considered an estimate of high reliability (Garnett et al. 2011). Its area of occupancy is estimated at 25 000 km² with a declining trend (Garnett et al. 2011). This is considered an estimate of low reliability (Garnett et al. 2011). Previously, the area of occupancy was estimated at 2000 km², which was based on the number of 1 km² grid squares the species occurs in at the time when its range is most constrained (Garnett & Crowley 2000).

The species extent is said to have declined since the 1950s (Johnstone 1997; Storr 1991) due to habitat clearing (mainly at the perimeter of the forest block in south-west WA) (Blyth 2005, pers. comm.). Its area of occupancy has been estimated to have decreased by at least 25% and is assumed to have declined in density by at least another 25% throughout its range (Garnett & Crowley 2000). Garnett and colleagues(2011) assessed that the species may exhibit current and future declines of >50% in three generations; inferred from ongoing declines in area of occupancy, habitat quality, levels of exploitation and effects of competitors.

There have been no specific surveys to determine Baudin's Black-Cockatoo current distribution, habitat critical to survival and important populations. This lack of information is due to two reasons: first, many published accounts did not distinguish between Baudin's Black-Cockatoo and Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo; and second, the flocks and nests of Baudin’s Cockatoo are very difficult to locate because they occur in dense forest in the canopy of tall trees (Chapman 2008).

The mobility of Baudin's Black-Cockatoo, and the continuity of the forest habitat, suggest that discrete subpopulations are unlikely to exist (Blyth 2005, pers. comm.). The species occurs as a single, contiguous population (Garnett & Crowley 2000).

The total population of the species is estimated to be 12 500 with a declining trend (Garnett et al. 2011). This is considered an estimate of low reliability (Garnett et al. 2011). Previously, abundance was estimated at 10 000-15 000 birds (Higgins 1999), 12 000 breeding birds (Garnett & Crowley 2000) and 5000-25 000 birds in 1977 (Garnett 1993). The population is believed to have declined greatly since the 1950s (Johnstone & Storr 1998), although there are no quantitive data available. The presumed longevity of the species may be masking insufficient rates of recruitment (Garnett 1993). The species is most numerous in the far south-west during the spring breeding season (September-December) and in the northern Darling Range during autumn (April-August) (Johnstone & Kirkby 2008).

Prior to the listing of the species as threatened in WA in 1996 (Mawson & Johnstone 1997), the annual reproductive rate of 0.6 young per pair was too low to replace the large numbers of birds that were shot by orchardists at the time (Storr 1991). It is now illgal to shoot birds, although licences are available to shoot to scare (Garnett 1992 cited in Chapman 2008). Nevertheless, illegal shooting to kill birds persists (Mawson pers. comm. cited in Chapman 2008).

Between 1998 and 2006, the Atlas of Australian Birds had recorded Baudin's Black-Cockatoo in 28 reserves. Of the 141 records of the species in reserves: 30 (21.3%) were from Torndirrup National Park; 26 (18.4%) from Walpole-Nornalup National Park; 12 (8.5%) from D'Entrecasteaux National Park; 10 (7.1%) from Leeuwin Naturalist National Park; seven (5.0%) from each of Lake Muir Nature Reserve, Mount Frankland National Park and Porongurup National Park; six (4.3%) from Serpentine National Park; five (3.5%) from Scott National Park; four (2.8%) from Smith Brook Nature Reserve; three (2.1%) from each of John Forrest National Park, Lane Poole Reserve and Waychinicup National Park; two (1.4%) from each of Shannon National Park, Stirling Range National Park and Warren National Park; and one (0.7%) from each of 12 various other reserves (Atlas of Australian Birds, unpublished data).

Baudin's Black-Cockatoo mainly occurs in eucalypt forests, especially Jarrah (E. marginata), Marri (Corymbia calophylla), also Karri (E. diversicolor) forest, less frequently in woodlands of Wandoo (E. wandoo), Blackbutt (Eucalyptus patens), Flooded Gum (Eucalyptus rudis), Yate (Eucalyptus cornuta), partly cleared farmlands and urban areas including roadside trees and house gardens (Johnstone & Kirkby 2008). This cockatoo forages at all levels of the forest, from the canopy to the ground, often feeding in the understorey on proteaceous trees and shrubs, especially banksias, and in orchards (both in trees and on dropped or fallen fruit on the ground) (Johnstone & Kirkby 2008).

Baudin's Black-Cockatoo breeds in the Jarrah, Marri and Karri forests of the far south-west in areas averaging more than 750 mm of rainfall annually. Breeding generally in woodland or forest, but may also occur in former woodland or forest now present as isolated trees. Nesting occurs in hollows in live or dead trees of Karri, Marri, Wandoo and Tuart (DSEWPaC 2012p). During the breeding season feeding primarily occurs in native vegetation, particularly Marri (DSEWPaC 2012p).

During the non-breeding season, the range of Baudin's Black-Cockatoo is determined by the distribution of Marri (Saunders 1979). In the northern Jarrah forest, Marri tends to be more common in lower parts of the landscape (Biggs et al. 2011). Outside the breeding season, the species feeds in fruit orchards (mostly apple and pear, but also persimmon) and also eats the tips of Pinus spp. (DSEWPaC 2012p).

Night roosting generally occurs in or near riparian environments or other permanent water sources. Roost trees include Jarrah, Marri, Flooded Gum, Blackbutt, Tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala), and introduced eucalypts, such as Blue Gum (E. globulus) and Lemon Scented Gum (Corymbia citriodora) (DSEWPaC 2012p). Preferred roosts are emergent eucalypts in areas with a dense canopy close to permanent sources of water, that provide the birds with protection from weather conditions (Jonstone & Kirkby 2008).

Association with threatened species and ecological communities
At food sources, Baudin's Black-Cockatoo sometimes associates with Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris), which is listed as endangered under the EPBC Act (Higgins 1999; Saunders 1974b). The species probably occurs infequently in the Corymbia calophylla - Xanthorrhea preissii woodlands and shrublands of the Swan coastal plain ecological community and the Corymbia calophylla - Kingia australis woodlands on heavy soils of the Swan Coastal Plain ecological community, both of which are listed as endangered under the EPBC Act (Blyth 2005 pers. comm.).

In the wild, Baudin's Black-Cockatoo may live for 25–50 years (Chapman & Massam 2005). Generation length has been estimated at 19 years, but this estimate is considered to be of low reliability (Garnett et al. 2011). The annual productivity of the species is said to be 0.6 young per pair (Storr 1991), which is likely to be below the annual mortality rate of these long-lived birds (Brouwer et al. 2000; Johnstone & Kirkby 2008; Johnstone & Storr 1998).

Very little is known about Baudin's Black-Cockatoo breeding biology, such as its breeding range, timing of nesting events, nest tree and nest hollow characteristics, clutch size, incubation period, fledging period and nesting success (Johnstone & Kirkby 2008). Little is known about the breeding cycle of Baudin’s Cockatoo because the nests are extremely difficult to locate (Chapman 2008). Most characteristics of the species' biology are inferred from Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo.

Baudin's Black-Cockatoo displays strong pair bonding and pairs probably mate for life, with birds staying together throughout the year, except when the female is incubating eggs and brooding chicks (Johnstone & Kirkby 2008). Individual birds probably begin to breed at four years of age (Shephard 1989). The species breeds in late winter and spring, from August to November or December (Gould 1972; Johnstone 1997; Saunders 1974b; Saunders et al. 1985). Copulation probably takes place three days prior to laying (Sindel & Lynn 1989). The female lays one or two white eggs (Campbell 1974) and may lay a replacement egg if the first laid egg fails (Higgins 1999). Incubation lasts for about 29 days and only the female incubates and broods (Johnstone & Kirkby 2008) and chicks remain in the nest for up to 16 weeks (Bohner 1984).

Nests, which comprise a layer of wood-chips, are built in large hollows in tall eucalypts, 30–40 cm in diameter and more than 30 cm deep, especially Karri, Marri and Wandoo (Johnstone & Storr 1998; Higgins 1999; Saunders 1974b, 1979). As with other black cockatoos, Baudin's Black-Cockatoo nests in large vertical hollows of very long lived trees. Trees with hollows suitable for Baudin's Black-Cockatoo are likely to be 500 mm or greater diameter at breast height (DBH). Trees thinner 500 mm DBH have the potential to develop hollows and are therefore also an important resource for Baudin's Black-Cockatoos. Both adults play a part in selecting the nest hollow, but only the female is responsible for renovation and preparing the hollow for breeding (Johnstone & Kirkby 2008). Preparation of the hollow consisted of chewing around the entrance of the hollow and down one part of the interior wall (Johnstone & Kirkby 2008). Pairs have also been recorded prospecting for hollows in most months and also outside the breeding range (Johnstone & Kirkby 2008).

Overall, Marri (Corymbia calophylla) is the primary food source with the birds using its seeds, flowers, nectar and buds (Johnstone & Kirby 2008). For instance, seeds of Marri were found in 89% of birds (n=58) collected in forest at Mundaring (Saunders 1974b); and of 34 foraging groups observed throughout the range of the species, 31 (91%) were seen feeding in Marri (Saunders 1979). In years when the Marri fails to flower or flowers poorly are the years when damage by this cockatoo to cultivated fruits is most severe (Johnstone & Kirby 2008).

Baudin's Black-Cockatoo has been observed feeding on a wide range of foods including the seeds of Marri, Jarrah, Western Sheoak (Allocasuarina fraseriana), Bull Banksia (Banksia grandis), Mountain Banksia (B. quercifolia), River Banksia (B. littoralis), Holly-leaved Banksia (B. ilicifolia), B. sessilis, B. squarrosa, Cut-leaf Banksia (B. praemorsa), Hakea erinacea, H. prostrata, H. stenocarpa, H. trifurcata, H. lasianthoides, H. ruscifolia, H. lissocarpha, H. varia, H. cristata, H. marginata, Wilson's Grevillea (Grevillea wilsonii), Balga Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoea preissii), Kingia australis, Reedia (Reedia spathacea), Radiata Pine (Pinus radiata), Erodium spp. (including E. botrys), Jacaranda spp., Macadamia spp., Pecan (Carya illinoinensis), Apples (Malus spp.), Pears (Pyrus spp.), Persimmons (Diospyros spp.) and Quercus spp.; nectar, buds and flowers of Marri, Lemon-scented Gum (Eucalyptus citriodora), Jarrah, Wandoo, Eucalyptus spp., Bull Banksia, Banksia sessilis, Porcupine Banksia (B. lindleyana), B. squarrosa, Darwinia citriodora and Callistemon spp. (Johnstone & Kirby 2008). They also take insect larvae and insects (including beetle, wasp and moth larvae) from under bark and in wood of live and dead trees, from galls and from flower spikes of Xanthorrhoea; the pith of Tall Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos flavidus); the juice of ripe persimmons; and the growing tips of Pinus spp. (Johnstone & Kirby 2008).

When feeding in Marri, Baudin's Black-Cockatoo removes seeds from their capsules by inserting its upper mandible into the capsule and then hooking and pulling the seed out (Cooper 2000; Saunders 1974b). Seeds are taken from apples and pears by splitting open the fruit (Higgins 1999). Bark and dead wood are stripped from trees (e.g. Jarrah, Marri) in search of insect larvae (Higgins 1999; Johnstone & Storr 1998; Saunders 1974b). It occasionally forages on the ground, searching among and feeding on Erodium, taking seed from fallen fruits or gumnuts, and extracting insect larvae from beneath the bark of fallen trees (Saunders 1979).

Baudin's Black-Cockatoo is locally resident, but at the end of the breeding season (January), birds leave the nesting areas and family groups then amalgamate to form larger foraging flocks (Johnstone & Kirkby 2008). This movement is in response to changing food resources (Saunders 1974b). The flocks begin to arrive at non-breeding traditional roosts in the central and northern parts of the Darling Scarp (from about Collie north to Mundaring) in early February and March (Johnstone & Kirkby 2008; Lee et al. 2013). Of birds that spend the non-breeding season in the Perth hills districts, there appears to be a definite shift westward onto the southern Swan Coastal Plain in mid-August, just prior to the flocks moving south to breed (Johnstone & Kirkby 2008). By mid-October most birds are either back in their breeding quarters, or heading there, and in breeding condition (Johnstone & Kirkby 2008). Breeding adults that undertake movements probably return to the same nesting areas each year (Saunders 1979), although no pairs have been observed returning to a hollow in successive years (Johnstone pers comm. cited in Chapman 2008).

Research is required to clarify habitat requirements and movements of Baudin's Black-Cockatoo in many parts of the south-west. Food availability is probably controlled by climatic effects on habitat, but this is still poorly understood (Johnstone & Kirkby 2008).

Flocking behaviour
Although flocks of up to 900 have been recorded (Johnstone pers. comm. cited in Chapman 2008), the cockatoos most commonly move about in small groups of three, consisting of the adult pair and a dependent juvenile (Higgins 1999). These flocks base themselves at roost sites and use the roosts to access the local foraging resources. Numbers tend to be largest at the roost site between dusk and dawn (Johnstone & Kirkby 2008). Roosting flocks break up into foraging flocks at dawn, moving into foraging habitat. Away from roost sites Johnstone and Kirkby (2008) found that the largest flocks of Baudin's Black-Cockatoo are usually recorded within the first two hours of daylight, and in the two hours before dark, as flocks split again into smaller family groups during the middle of the day. The first two hours after dawn and before dark are therefore the best times to search for foraging black cockatoos.

The number of birds using a roost site will also vary seasonally. While sub-adults and other non-breeding birds will use roost sites all year round, the largest numbers will occur during the non-breeding period, when breeding adults and their young will join the non-breeding birds at roost sites.

Baudin's Black-Cockatoo is gregarious, and is usually seen in trios or small parties. It occasionally gathers in flocks during the non-breeding season. It is easily confused with the very similar Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo. The two species are best distinguished by the following characters (from Higgins 1999):

Characteristic Baudin's Black-Cockatoo Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo Comments Reference
Bill shape In profile, the tip of the upper mandible is much longer, finer and more tapered, and it clearly extends below the tip of the lower mandible when the bill is closed. In profile, the tip of the upper mandible extends only a short distance.   Higgins (1999)
Calls     The normal contact calls of each species are very similar, but the individual notes of the contact call in Baudin's Black-Cockatoo are said to be slightly shorter and disyllabic. This difference is readily appreciable with experience. Higgins (1999) and Saunders (1979)
Habitat Prefers wetter, heavily-forested areas dominated by Marri, Karri and Jarrah. It is occasionally found in Wandoo woodland, and often visits orchards, but generally avoids Radiata Pine plantations. Plantations of introduced Radiata Pine trees are a favoured foraging habitat during the non-breeding season. There is some overlap, especially during the non-breeding season. Higgins (1999)
Foraging behaviour When feeding in Marri, the species extract seeds from their capsules by using its long, tapered upper mandible in a manner that causes little or no damage to the capsule itself. Routinely breaks the rims from capsules when extracting seeds

Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) feed similarly to Carnaby's Black-Cockatoos.

Cooper (2000), Johnstone and Kirkby (1999), Higgins (1999), Saunders (1974b) and Stojanovic (2008)

Habitat assessment
Habitat assessment is the primary technique used to determine use of an area by Baudin's Black-Cockatoo. Assessment includes the extent, type and quality of the vegetation present, including the presence and extent of plants known to be used by the species. In potential breeding habitat measurements of the DBH of trees in the patch of woodland/forest can be made to determine if the habitat could be breeding habitat. Surveys for Baudin's Black-Cockatoo foraging habitat should be undertaken in any remnant vegetation containing proteaceous heath/woodland, eucalypt woodlands or forest (particularly Marri and Jarrah forest) and in areas dominated by Pinus spp.

Targeted surveys
Given their mobility and reliance on varying habitat during and between years, short-term surveys are unlikely to give a true representation of habitat use by Baudin's Black-Cockatoo. It can be detected by sight or call, and its presence can also be detected by foraging signs (Cooper 2000; DEWHA 2010l; Saunders 1974b). It is described as conspicuous, but nests are inconspicuous and, as such, birds can be difficult to locate during the breeding season.

The following tables give guidance to conducting surveys aimed at detecting the presence of Baudin's Black-Cockatoo at a site. The methodology was developed during a workshop in 2008 (Western Australia Black Cockatoo Workshop 2008). Consideration should be given to the timing, effort, methods and area to be covered. If surveys are conducted outside recommended periods or conditions, survey methods and effort should be adjusted to compensate for the decreased likelihood of detecting the birds. Surveys should be conducted by a suitably qualified person with experience in surveying for black cockatoos.

  Survey target
Nests Foraging habitat Roosts
Overview Should occur in likely breeding habitat, focusing on the hollows of large, mature nesting trees. Should occur in any remnant vegetation containing proteaceous heath/woodland, eucalypt woodlands or forest (particularly Marri and Jarrah forest) and in areas dominated by Pinus spp. Roosts are generally located in the tallest trees in or near riparian environments or permanent water. Surveys for roosts should target these areas.

Different roosts may be used by birds during the non-breeding period and by non-breeding birds during breeding period. Surveys for roosts should be timed to detect use during either and/or both of these periods.
Aim To detect nesting females to confirm. The presence of lone males may indicate there is a nest nearby. 1) To record the presence and extent of foraging habitat; 2) to detect the species foraging at the site; and 3) estimate the number of birds using the site. 1) To look for evidence that a roost site occurs on the site; 2) to detect the species roosting at the site; and 3) estimate the number of birds using the roost.
Timing During the peak breeding season of October/November. One survey in winter. Two further surveys in spring. Exception: In Marri, the best time to survey for black cockatoos is December to April with three surveys during this period. Daytime surveys can occur at any time of year to look for evidence that a roost site occurs on site; including habitat features such as tall trees in proximity to water and foraging habitat, records, cockatoo feathers and/or droppings. Following site assessment, dawn visits should be made at likely roost sites in both the non-breeding and breeding seasons.
Effort At least two suitable days, at approximately monthly intervals. A total of three surveys should be undertaken. A survey should consist of both morning and evening visits, for two hours after dawn and two hours before dusk. A minimum of two dawn surveys per season, at approximately monthly intervals, should be conducted over at least one hour on windless mornings in both the non-breeding and breeding seasons. A survey should consist of a visit to the site, at least 30 minutes before sunrise.
Additional Info Active nests are located most easily at dusk, when the male returns to the nest with food for the incubating or brooding female (DEWHA 2010l). Breeding birds tend to forage near the nest during the breeding season. Surveys should note the distance, size and connectivity of remnant habitat patches in breeding areas (e.g. from satellite images). The presence of cockatoo droppings and feathers, or 'chewed' Banksia cones or Marri nuts, can indicate feeding by black cockatoos. The presence of cockatoo droppings and feathers, or 'chewed' Banksia cones or Marri nuts, can indicate feeding by black cockatoos (including, if possible, the identification of bite patterns to indicate which black cockatoo species fed there). This can be assessed at any time of year, as cones can remain on the ground for many months. Cones and nuts should be identified by a suitably qualified person. Surveyors should listen for calls until at least 30 minutes after sunrise and quietly move in the direction of calls to estimate the number of birds as they leave the roost. Counts are best made by standing under a flight path (e.g. a road, track or open area that the birds cross) and looking back towards the roost against an open skyline. Subsequent visits may be required to count the birds as they leave the roost. Roost sites may also be located by following birds returning to the roost in the evening. The presence of cockatoo feathers and droppings at a site may indicate roosting.

Nest hollow shortage
A shortage of nest hollows is a principal threat, as suitable hollows are considered scarce, only forming in trees that are at least 130-220 years of age, many of which have been preferentially felled (Abbott & Whitford 2002 cited in Garnett et al. 2011; Chapman 2008). Nest hollows are likely to continue to be lost to mining (Chapman 2008) and fire (Garnett et al. 2011). Fires caused by lightning or arson, and sometimes planned fires, cause older trees containing hollows to fall, and also temporarily reduce food availability (DSEWPaC 2011 cited in Garnett et al. 2011). Competition for hollows is also severe with other cockatoos, including Carnaby's Black Cockatoo and corellas (Cacatua spp.), Wood Duck (Cheononetta jubatta) and feral European Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) (Johnstone & Kirkby 2008).

Suitable habitat was cleared for agriculture throughout much of the species range, and it is estimated that the species no longer occupies 25% of suitable habitat that has been cleared (Mawson & Johnstone 1997). The threat from habitat loss has slowed (Blyth 2005, pers. comm.), although there is an ongoing decline in population densities due to the selective removal of large Marri trees, from which the species obtains most of its food (Garnett & Crowley 2000).

Production forest operations were previously detrimental as harvest rotation policies did not allow trees to grow to an adequate maturity or, consequently, allow hollows to develop (Saunders et al. 1985; Saunders & Ingram 1995). However, old growth forests have now been excluded from production forestry (Garnett & Crowley 2000; Conservation Commission of Western Australia 2004) and large Marri trees are retained within Jarrah Forest coupes (DEC 2012).

Illegal shooting
Baudin's Black-Cockatoo sometimes feeds on and does damage to cultivated fruit (e.g. apples, pears) in orchards (Halse 1986; Long 1985). In one study, 9% of 70 000 apples were damaged in 2 months by the species (Halse 1986). To prevent such damage, the species was subject to shooting under an Open Season Notice from the 1950s until 1989, when the notice was revoked (Mawson & Johnstone 1997). Few figures are available on the impact of these shootings, but in the Bridgetown district, from 1960 to 1965, bounty payments were made on 164 birds, and at Manjimup, 824 birds were shot in 1984 alone (Halse 1986; Higgins 1999).

Baudin's Black-Cockatoo has been protected since 1996 (Mawson & Johnstone 1997), but illegal shooting may still be occuring (Garnett & Crowley 2000). The impact of ongoing illegal shooting upon the current population is not known (Garnett & Crowley 2000), but the species' low annual reproductive rate probably increases the impact (Storr 1991).

Garnett and colleagues (2011) recommend that conservation objectives should aim to stabilise or increase: area of occupancy, number of breeding pairs, numbers in each roosting flock and proportion of juveniles in each roosting flock. Chapman (2008) and Garnett and colleagues (2011) recommend the following management actions:

  • Prevent illegal shooting in and around commercial orchard areas
  • Assist orchardists in developing non-lethal damage mitigation strategies (e.g. noise emitting devices)
  • Monitor demographic indicators (population, size, trends, recruitment), including the effectiveness of management actions and the need to adapt them if necessary
  • Determine the patterns and significance of movement
  • Map feeding and breeding habitat
  • Determine and implement:
    • ways to minimise the effects of mining and urban development
    • ways to manage forests for conservation
  • Develop and implement:
    • a management plan for the control and reduction of non-managed feral European Honey Bees
    • a communication strategy to stop illegal shooting and improve compliance with existing legislation
  • Continue to support coordination of management of the Forest Cockatoo Recovery Group.

A study by the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation, in consultation with the Western Australian Fruit Growers' Association determined that combinations of shooting to scare, harassment via motorcycles and gas guns are an effective means of reducing damage to fruit by Baudin's Black-Cockatoo (Chapman 2007).

Commonwealth funded grants
Warren Catchments council (Manjimup Land Conservation District Committee, WA) received $11 038 of funding through the Threatened Species Network Community Grants in 2005-06 for co-ordination and encouragement of more volunteers through an awareness program to participate in breeding site surveys and trial of non-destructive scare techniques.

Detailed studies on Baudin's Black-Cockatoo have been published by Saunders (1974b, 1979), Johnstone (1997) and Johnstone and Kirkby (2008).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Forest Black Cockatoo (Baudin's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus baudinii and Forest Redtailed Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) Recovery Plan (Chapman, T., 2008) [Recovery Plan].
Calyptorhynchus baudinii in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006en) [Internet].
The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000 (Garnett, S.T. & G.M. Crowley, 2000) [Cwlth Action Plan].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Land clearance (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2001w) [Listing Advice].
Biological Resource Use:Hunting and Collecting Terrestrial Animals:illegal control Calyptorhynchus baudinii in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006en) [Internet].
Biological Resource Use:Logging and Wood Harvesting:Habitat disturbance due to foresty activities Forest Black Cockatoo (Baudin's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus baudinii and Forest Redtailed Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) Recovery Plan (Chapman, T., 2008) [Recovery Plan].
Calyptorhynchus baudinii in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006en) [Internet].
Biological Resource Use:Logging and Wood Harvesting:Habitat loss, modification and degradation due to timber harvesting Forest Black Cockatoo (Baudin's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus baudinii and Forest Redtailed Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) Recovery Plan (Chapman, T., 2008) [Recovery Plan].
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat destruction, disturbance and/or modification due to mining activities Forest Black Cockatoo (Baudin's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus baudinii and Forest Redtailed Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) Recovery Plan (Chapman, T., 2008) [Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human induced disturbance due to unspecified activities Forest Black Cockatoo (Baudin's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus baudinii and Forest Redtailed Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) Recovery Plan (Chapman, T., 2008) [Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:shooting Forest Black Cockatoo (Baudin's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus baudinii and Forest Redtailed Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) Recovery Plan (Chapman, T., 2008) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Apis mellifera (Honey Bee, Apiary Bee) Forest Black Cockatoo (Baudin's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus baudinii and Forest Redtailed Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) Recovery Plan (Chapman, T., 2008) [Recovery Plan].
Calyptorhynchus baudinii in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006en) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition and/or predation by birds Forest Black Cockatoo (Baudin's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus baudinii and Forest Redtailed Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) Recovery Plan (Chapman, T., 2008) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Natural System Modifications:Indirect and direct habitat loss due to human activities Forest Black Cockatoo (Baudin's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus baudinii and Forest Redtailed Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) Recovery Plan (Chapman, T., 2008) [Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low fecundity, reproductive rate and/or poor recruitment Calyptorhynchus baudinii in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006en) [Internet].

Biggs, E.K., H.C. Finn, R.H. Taplin & M.C. Calver (2011). Landscape position predicts distribution of eucalypt feed trees for threatened black-cockatoos in the northern jarrah forest, Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia. 94(4):541-48.

Blyth, J. (2005). Personal communication, December 2005.

Bohner, F. (1984). First breeding of the White-tailed Black Cockatoo. Bird Keeping in Australia. 27:17-18.

Brouwer, K., M.L. Jones, C.E. King & H. Schifter (2000). Longevity records for Psittaciformes in captivity. International Zoo Yearbook. 37:299-316.

Campbell, A.J. (1974). Nests and Eggs of Australian Birds: Including the Geographical Distribution of the Species and Popular Observations Thereon. Melbourne: Wren.

Chapman, T. (2008). Forest Black Cockatoo (Baudin's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus baudinii and Forest Redtailed Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii naso) Recovery Plan. [Online]. Western Australia: Department of Environment and Conservation. Available from:

Chapman, T. & M. Massam (2005). Reducing fruit damage by Baudin's Cockatoo. Department of Conservation and Land Management Western Australia Fauna Note 1.

Chapman, T.F. (2007). An endangered species that is also a pest: a case study of Baudin's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus baudinii and the pome fruit industry in south-west Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia. 90:33-40.

Christidis, L. & W.E. Boles (1994). The Taxonomy and Species of Birds of Australia and its Territories. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union Monograph 2. Melbourne, Victoria: Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union.

Conservation Commission of Western Australia (2004). Forest Management Plan 2004-2013. Conservation Commission of Western Australia, Perth.

Cooper, C. (2000). Food manipulation by southwest Australian cockatoos. Eclectus. 8:3-9.

Davies, S.J.J.F (1966). The movements of the White-tailed Black-Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus baudinii) in south-western Australia. Western Australian Naturalist. 10:33--42.

Department of Environment and Conservation (2012). Draft Silviculture Guideline for Jarrah Forest. Draft SFM Guideline No. 1.

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) (2012p). Referral guidelines for three species of Western Australian black cockatoos. [Online]. DSEWPaC. Available from:

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) (2010l). Survey Guidelines for Australia's Threatened Birds. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.2. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: DEWHA. Available from:

Garnett, S., J. Szabo & G. Dutson (2011). The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2010. CSIRO Publishing.

Garnett, S.T., ed. (1993). Threatened and Extinct Birds of Australia. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union Report 82 2nd (corrected) Edition. Melbourne: Royal Australian Ornithology Union and Canberra: Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Garnett, S.T. & G.M. Crowley (2000). The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: Environment Australia and Birds Australia. Available from:

Gould, J. (1972). Handbook to the Birds of Australia. Melbourne: Landsdowne Press.

Halse, S.A. (1986). Parrot Damage in Apple Orchards in South-Western Australia: a Review. Department of Conservation & Land Management WA Technical Report. 8.

Higgins, P.J., ed. (1999). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds Volume 4: Parrots to Dollarbird. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

International Species Information System (ISIS) (2005a). Locations of captive populations. [Online]. [Accessed: 08-Nov-2005].

Johnstone, R.E. (1997). Current studies on three endemic Western Australian cockatoos. Eclectus. 3:34--35.

Johnstone, R.E. & G.M. Storr (1998). Handbook of Western Australian Birds. Vol. 1: Non-passerines (Emu to Dollarbird). Perth, Western Australia: West Australian Museum.

Johnstone, R.E. & T. Kirkby (2008). Distribution, status, social organisation, movements and conservation of Baudin's Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus baudinii) in South-west Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum. 25:107-118.

Lee, J.G.H., H.C. Finn & M.C. Calver (2013). Ecology of Black Cockatoos at a Mine-site in the Eastern Jarrah-Marri Forest, Western Australia. Pacific Conservation Biology. 19(1):76-90.

Long, J.L. (1985). Damage to cultivated fruit by parrots in the south of Western Australia. Australian Wildlife Research. 12:75--80.

Mawson, P. & R. Johnstone (1997). Conservation status of parrots and cockatoos in Western Australia. Eclectus. 2:4-9.

Saunders, D.A. (1974a). The Occurrence of the White-tailed Black Cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus baudinii, in Pinus plantations in Western Australia. Australian Wildlife Research. 1:45-54.

Saunders, D.A. (1974b). Subspeciation in the White-tailed Black Cockatoo, Calyptorhynchus baudinii, in Western Australia. Australian Wildlife Research. 1:55-69.

Saunders, D.A. (1979). Distribution and Taxonomy of the White-tailed and Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos Calyptorhynchus spp. Emu. 79:215--227.

Saunders, D.A. & J.A. Ingram (1995). Birds of Southwestern Australia: An Atlas of Changes in the Distribution and Abundance of the Wheatbelt Avifauna. Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton, NSW.

Saunders, D.A., I. Rowley & G.T. Smith (1985). The effects of clearing for agriculture on the distribution of Cockatoos in the southwest of Western Australia. In: Keast, A., H.F. Recher, H. Ford & D. Saunders, eds. Birds of Eucalypt Forests and Woodlands. Page(s) 309-321. Surrey Beatty, Sydney.

Shephard, M. (1989). Aviculture in Australia: Keeping and Breeding Aviary Birds. Melbourne: Black Cockatoo Press.

Sibley, C.G. & B.L. Monroe (1990). Distribution and Taxonomy of the Birds of the World. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press.

Sindel, S. & R. Lynn (1989). Australian Cockatoos: Experiences in the Field and Aviary. Austral, New South Wales: Singil Press.

Stojanovic, D. (2008). Not so black and white: the complex conservation of Carnaby's black-cockatoo. Wildlife Australia Magazine. Autumn:18-23.

Storr, G.M. (1991). Birds of the South-west Division of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum. Suppl. 35.

Western Australia Black Cockatoo Workshop (2008). Proceedings of the Western Australia Black Cockatoo Workshop, August 2008. Perth, Western Australia.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Calyptorhynchus baudinii in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Sat, 26 Jul 2014 17:43:31 +1000.