The future of an endangered bird on Kangaroo Island is now more secure after much-needed sponsorship was found for the Glossy Black-cockatoo Recovery Program.
A $72,500 sponsorship boost from Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers (KIPT) has provided a last-minute lifeline for the recovery program to continue after the timber company committed to support the program for the 2017-18 financial year.
The funding, through the Kangaroo Island Natural Resources Management Board (KI NRM Board), will allow the program’s recovery team to continue to protect the endangered bird, its breeding places and feeding habitat.
Kangaroo Island is the last refuge of South Australia’s Glossy black-cockatoo, which was once widespread across the Fleurieu Peninsula and Mount Lofty Ranges regions but became extinct in the 1970s after the bird’s primary source of food, she-oak, was cleared across the regions.
The Glossy Black-cockatoo Recovery Program has been in place for more than 20 years, and surveys have shown positive results as the number of birds increased from 158 in 1995 to 373 at the last census.
KIPT managing director, John Sergeant said the glossy black-cockatoo is an important species for Kangaroo Island as well as the state and the program was in danger of closing after Australian Government funding ended in June 2017.
“We have a significant number of the glossy black nesting and feeding sites near our plantations,” Mr Sergeant said.
“In keeping with our commitment to the Kangaroo Island environment, we are pleased to support a program that is highly valued by the community and contributes to the survival and expansion of this species.”
With support from the Friends of the Glossies community group, the program established community planting days to replant the birds’ primary food source of drooping she-oak and installed artificial nesting boxes near food sources.
Presiding Member of the KI NRM Board, Richard Trethewey said the program had begun to wind down before the sponsorship was confirmed.
“In line with our recent commitment to seek innovative and alternative funding sources for priority NRM initiatives on the Island, the KI NRM Board is promoting a funding prospectus to encourage corporate and private investment into the Glossy Black-cockatoo Recovery Program,” Mr Trethewey said.
“KIPT has responded to this urgent call for investment and we are very pleased they have generously committed to support the program for this financial year.”
Mr Trethewey said the most recent success of the program is that the species is now breeding on the Dudley Peninsula, with feeding habitat being planted on the mainland near Cape Jervis to enable the bird to re-establish a population on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
“We are keen to continue to work with KIPT as it moves towards establishing a forestry industry so that we can achieve the best outcomes for the Island’s glossy black population and we encourage other corporate and private investors to follow their example in supporting this and other important environmental initiatives on the Island.”
Read more about the Glossy Black-cockatoo Recovery Program and the funding prospectus at http://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/kangarooisland/plants-and-animals/native-animals/glossy-black-cockatoo-recovery.
For more information contact the natural resources centre on 8553 4444 or John Sergeant on 0412 345 359.