Up to a quarter of this species’ habitat has been cleared for agriculture, causing considerable historical population declines. Logging of marri, first for woodchips and now for use in flooring and furniture, has dramatically reduced the availability of food and nesting trees. Additionally, many nest hollows have been found to be occupied by feral bees, which not only limit the bird’s nest availability, but are also known to have caused the loss of chicks and killed a brooding female. Competition for nests from maned geese (Chenonetta jubatta) and Australian shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides) may also be a factor as duck numbers increase in the south-west (9) (12).
Although the bird has been protected since 1996, shooting by orchard farmers still occurs (9) (10). ‘Damage licenses’ (shoot to scare only) can be issued allowing crop owners to “protect orchard crops” if it can be demonstrated that these cockatoos are causing damage (11) (13). Over past decades, farmers protecting their crops have probably culled thousands of these birds, and continue to do so at a reduced rate, with devastating consequences (13).