THINGS TO DO

Great Inland Glossy Count calls for volunteer cockatoo counters at Goonoo, Goobang

LOOKOUT FOR: A male glossy black cockatoo. Photo: Charles Dove
LOOKOUT FOR: A male glossy black cockatoo. Photo: Charles Dove

The NSW Saving our Species program is calling for scores of community volunteers to become cockatoo counters and help out a vulnerable and spectacular species.

The second Great Inland Glossy Count is taking place in bush near Dubbo this weekend, after it was postponed late last year.

National Parks and Wildlife Service senior project officer Adam Fawcett said the count was set to go and anyone could be a part of it.

"Bird lovers, citizen scientists or anyone with an interest in this beautiful threatened species, are needed to survey glossy black cockatoo populations at three key sites around inland NSW," he said.

"Listed as vulnerable in NSW, glossies are easily spotted with their distinctive red markings and this cockatoo count will help our scientists understand more about this threatened bird."

In 2019 at the inaugural count, 70 volunteers participated and counted more than 700 glossy black cockatoos across inland NSW.

The count is part of a wider project to conserve the species at three key sites, the Pilliga Forests, Goonoo National Park and Goobang National Park, near Parkes, and surrounding landscapes.

The count in the Pilliga took place at the weekend, while the surveys at Goonoo, north of Dubbo, and Goobang, north of Parkes, are set for February 20 and 27 respectively.

Volunteers will need to pre-register using the Department of Planning Industry and Environment's Volunteer Portal and will be required to follow COVID safety guidelines.

We are hoping to get 100 volunteers this year and what a great opportunity to get out to some of our amazing national parks and state forests.

National Parks and Wildlife Service's Adam Fawcett

"We are hoping to get 100 volunteers this year and what a great opportunity to get out to some of our amazing national parks and state forests, sit back and watch a threatened species in its natural habitat," Mr Fawcett said.

Family members are encouraged to register to volunteer together and will be stationed at one dam on their chosen weekend to count the cockatoos as they come into known watering holes.

"We are asking volunteers to set up at their survey site an hour or so before dusk and wait as glossy black cockatoos fly in for water," Mr Fawcett said.

"The only requirements are the ability to make your way to a dam allocated by the Saving our Species team and to bring a pair of binoculars, a comfy chair and a notepad.

"Many of our seasoned participants make quite an event out of the evening, with cheese platters and other goodies a regular feature.

"It is a pretty amazing when you get a large flock of this threatened species coming into a waterhole to drink and we love that we are able to give people this opportunity to get involved in threatened species conservation."

The project is funded by the NSW Government's Saving our Species program and the NSW Environmental Trust, and is led by Central West Local Land Services in partnership with NPWS, NSW Forest Corp, Dubbo Field Naturalists, Australian Wildlife Conservancy and the land owners and managers within these areas.

This story Volunteer for Great Inland Glossy Count, see a 'pretty amazing' sight first appeared on Parkes Champion-Post.