The Gang-gang Cockatoo is hard to miss. The males wear a bright red feather helmet with a wispy crest. This relatively small, stocky and sociable bird was once common but within the last three decades sightings have declined dramatically. We don’t know why, and the future of the Gang-gang is under threat. While Gang-gang numbers have remained steady in Canberra for the last 30 years, other areas in South East Australia have seen declines of up to 70%. We urgently need to better understand what’s critical for this Cockatoo so we can take action to ensure its survival.
Above: Two male chicks, photo Roy McDowall - and Male and female. This is a call out to anyone who is interested in helping to better understand and protect this iconic cockatoo. We need you to be the eyes and ears, spotting Gang-gangs and observing their behaviour. September-October is a busy time for Gang-gangs with couples searching for and preparing nesting hollows. The locations of very few nesting hollows are known and this project needs your help to find more. We are asking citizen scientists to take photographs of Gang-gang activity in and around hollows and to note particular behaviours. This will help us prioritise a particular hollow for checking during the breeding season (October – January). Once known, breeding trees can be better protected and comparisons can be made of breeding success across the Gang-gang’s range. This will help to better understand the environmental factors that may be influencing the decline in numbers. The Gang-gang citizen science project has been set up iNaturalist where you can log your sightings. iNaturalist is a citizen science platform for recording all organisms and it’s absolutely free! Please join the project to become a member of the South Coast Gang-gang Gang and start logging your sightings including photos if possible: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/gang-gang-nests-tree-hollows-search This is a collaborative project between Gang-gang research partners from Canberra and two citizen science projects, Budawang Coast Atlas of Life and Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness