The 2013 Great Cocky Count formally surveyed 243 sites, utilising 308 registered volunteer observers.
The 2013 count of 5,800 cockies in the Swan Region was a 44 per cent increase from 2012 but numbers are still down by 14 per cent on the 6,700 birds recorded in 2010. The increased numbers observed in 2013 were focused in the northern suburbs and northern Swan Coastal Plain areas.
The greater numbers of Carnaby’s counted north of the Swan River is potentially due to parts of the Gnangara, Pinjar and Yanchep pine plantations being cleared, removing critical feeding and roosting habitat, and causing the cockatoos to move to coastal locations where they are more easily observed.
The 2013 results also show a change in how the cockies are utilising some of the best-monitored metropolitan roosts, which highlights the need to monitor as many sites as possible in order to pick up movements between roosts and to better assess the Swan region population as a whole.
While the count’s value remains strongest in and around Perth (now with four years of consecutive data), confirmed roosts in regional areas will, in time, provide information on Carnaby’s population changes beyond the Swan region.
Perth Region NRM will be funding the next Great Cocky Count, which will take place on Sunday 6 April 2014. BirdLife Australia is currently recruiting for a2014 Great Cocky Count Coordinator and we hope to welcome a new person on board in January.