Movement of Carnaby’s Cockatoo (Zanda latirostris) across different agricultural regions in Western Australia.

Sam Rycken, Kristin Warren, Lian Yeap, Bethany Jackson, Peter Mawson, Rick Dawson, Jill M. Shephard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Carnaby’s cockatoos in Western Australia are experiencing ongoing population declines. Despite being highly mobile and adaptable, this endangered species has been impacted by fragmentation of its habitat, with an ongoing need for research on its movements in regional areas across its range to gain an understanding of habitat requirements, and to inform conservation plans.

This study aimed to determine whether regional differences in movement (distances travelled, revisitations and home range) exist for foraging and roosting behaviour for this species.

Movement analysis of satellite-tagged Carnaby’s cockatoos (n = 11) across three agricultural regions was conducted.

Key results
When comparing distances between roosts and daily foraging behaviour, no significant differences were found between regions (P ≥ 0.05). Resident home ranges (home ranges in areas of resident daily movement) of flocks were much larger in the Esperance region, however, showing differences in movement patterns between regions.

Because flocks were similar in size (n = ±300) between regions and used a similar amount of native vegetation for foraging (±20%), we concluded that movement may have been influenced by the spatial separation of patches of native vegetation. In addition, key foraging habitat often occurred within patches of non-native foraging species.

The information derived from this research has proven valuable in assessing the use of native vegetation in the landscape, identifying key habitat and determining daily and seasonal movement patterns. In addition, the importance of non-native food sources must be recognised and protection of native and non-native food sources must play a critical role in the species’ conservation management.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPacific Conservation Biology
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2023


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