Glossy black-cockatoo

Help save a species on the brink of extinction  

Now extinct on mainland Australia, the endangered glossy black-cockatoo has its last refuge on Kangaroo Island.

Natural Resources Kangaroo Island, which includes the Kangaroo Island Natural resource Management Board and the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resource, began recovery efforts for the species in 1995 when the population was at a low of 158 individuals.   

The population has more than doubled to 373 birds but glossies still depend on habitat restoration and nest protection to survive. 

Why glossies need your help 

Glossy black-cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus lathami halmaturinus) have a highly specialised diet, the seeds of the drooping sheoak (Allocasuarina verticillata). These trees once covered the hills of the Fleurieu Peninsula, southern Mt Lofty Ranges and Eyre Peninsula.

Drooping sheoak trees proved to be a highly valuable resource for early settlers. As a prized source of firewood, and of stock feed during droughts, drooping sheoaks were selectively cleared across the South Australian landscape, destroying habitat for the glossy black‑cockatoo. 

Rabbit grazing prevented regeneration of sheoaks from the seedbank. With no food for survival, the glossy black-cockatoo disappeared from mainland South Australia. 

Threats faced by glossy black-cockatoos on KI 

Selective clearance for agriculture has reduced and fragmented:

  • critical drooping sheoak feeding habitat in some areas of Kangaroo Island
  • large, old, hollow-bearing trees, particularly in areas near feeding habitat.

These losses are compounded by:

  • competition for remaining tree hollows from introduced species, including feral honey bees, little corellas and galahs
  • many more common brushtail possums, a natural nest predator that eats eggs and nestlings.

This has significantly reduced breeding success. 

Recovery Program Team

The Glossy Black-cockatoo Recovery Program is one of Australia’s leading examples of how good governance, strategic planning, community commitment and appropriate resources can effectively reverse the decline of a critically endangered species.

The Glossy Black-cockatoo (GBC) Recovery Program is advised by the GBC Recovery Team, comprising ecological experts, wildlife specialists, community stakeholders and land managers. The recovery team brings a wealth of strategic, technical and local knowledge and experience to the program. All recovery program activities are guided by the GBC Recovery Plan, a strategic document that describes the objectives, strategies and performance targets of the recovery program.

The GBC Strategic Plan 2015–2020 outlines the three long-term aims of the recovery program:

  1. Ensure a viable breeding population of the glossy black-cockatoo persists in South Australia.

  2. Shift the status of the glossy black-cockatoo from Endangered to Vulnerable by 2030.

  3. Expand the current distribution of the glossy black-cockatoo to include its former range on mainland Australia, on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

We invite you to sponsor the Glossy Black-cockatoo Recovery Program to:

  • increase the glossy population and remove them from the endangered species list
  • ensure this iconic species persists in South Australia and expands to the mainland
  • support valued wildlife relied on by Kangaroo Island’s nature‑based tourism industry, which underpins the local economy
  • maintain the unique wildlife of KI for the appreciation of all who live and visit here
  • support the stewardship efforts of the Kangaroo Island community
  • address key knowledge gaps to improve recovery efforts
  • develop recovery techniques for use Australia-wide. 

Benefits of sponsorship   

  1. Help save an endangered species.
  2. Promote and profile your business or brand with national exposure, including through the Natural Resources Kangaroo Island website, social media, project reports and community engagement products.
  3. Demonstrate your corporate social responsibility ethos and contribute to desirable environmental, social and economic outcomes for Kangaroo Island. 

Sponsors will receive regular reports outlining project activities, outcomes and budget expenditure updates.

Please contact Natural Resources Kangaroo Island to discuss sponsorship opportunities and to tailor your offer to suit your needs and budget. All donations receive a tax deductible receipt from our partnering organisation Nature Foundation SA. Download the Glossy black-cockatoo prospectus to find out more.

Friends of the Glossies: Community support for the Glossy Black-cockatoo Recovery Program 

The Friends of the Glossies is a volunteer group established in 2012 to support the on-ground works of the Glossy Black-Cockatoo Recovery Program.

This volunteer group is ready to mobilise and undertake new citizen science projects to aid recovery and to protect and expand glossy habitat.

Since their inception, the group has:

  • helped to restore 32 ha of glossy habitat
  • contributed 200 hours to the glossy census across 4,800 ha on Kangaroo Island
  • spent 300 hours monitoring glossy nests each year on Kangaroo Island. 

Visit the friends groups website for more information.


Related links

Partners

Nature Foundation SA

Funding partners

Australian Government Biodiversity Fund; Nature Foundation SA

More information

  • Wildlife Program Manager
    37 Dauncey Street, Kingscote
    08 8553 4444
    kinrc@sa.gov.au