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3000 trees to give cockies a feed

Planters get busy around Curtin Uni this week to help head off black cockatoo extinction.

TOM MUNDAY

Nearly 3000 trees are being planted at Curtin University from this week in a bid to provide food for Perth’s endangered black cockatoos.

University technical officer Jacqui Addison said the trees would eventually screen the university from main roads around Curtin’s Bentley campus, increase food for black cockatoos and offset carbon emissions.

Ms Addison said the trees would also increase shade for students, staff, and visitors.

“We just planned as many plantings as we can within one year, and they are all tubestock so next year we’ll go through and replant what hasn’t survived and we’ll just do that each year,” Ms Addison said.

Tree species to be planted include the native Eucalyptus caesia, Hakea laurina, Agonis flexuosa, Corymbia ficifolia, and Banksia grandis.

Planting areas include the median strip at car park C9, the Building 500 car park, Manning Road verge, and along Kent Street.

Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre Avian Management Officer Rachel Riley said the tree planting could help over the longer term.

“It’s going to take a little while, and [the trees] won’t produce any nesting hollows in that area for up to 150 years,” Ms Riley said.

“It’s a long-term goal.

“As long as the area is protected it will be very helpful in the future and will help future populations [of cockatoos] if we have enough left.”

Edith Cowan University environmental management professor Will Stock said that between 2010 and 2014 the population of Carnaby’s black cockatoos had declined at a rate of 14 per cent a year, which he described as a “very worrying trend”.

Photo: Donna Hynes and Alec Levet get to planting. Credit: Tom Munday

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