Gang-gang cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum) population, Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai Local Government Areas - endangered population listing

The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Final Determination to list the Gang-gang Cockatoo, Callocephalon fimbriatum (Grant), population in the Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai Local Government Areas as an ENDANGERED POPULATION on Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Act. Listing of Endangered Populations is provided for by Part 2 of the Act.

NSW Scientific Committee - final determination

The Scientific Committee has found that:

1. The Gang-gang Cockatoo, Callocephalon fimbriatum (Grant), is not listed as an Endangered Species on Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Act, and thus populations of the Gang-gang Cockatoo are eligible for listing as endangered populations on Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Act.

2. The Gang-gang Cockatoo is a relatively small, dark grey cockatoo. Both sexes have crests; the male is distinguished from the female by its bright red head. The species occurs in a variety of forest and woodland habitats and occasionally in more open areas in south-eastern New South Wales and Victoria.

3. Gang-gang Cockatoos were once widespread and numerous in Sydney and surrounding areas, but have been greatly reduced in recent years by loss of habitat.

4. A population of Gang-gang Cockatoos persists in the Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai Local Government Areas. This population is bounded by Beecroft - Cheltenham in the west, Epping - North Epping in the south, Turramurra - South Turramurra in the east, and Thornleigh - Wahroonga to the north. The population encompasses, but is not restricted to, Pennant Hills Park and parts of Lane Cove National Park. Individual birds are likely on occasion to move across the population boundary.

5. The maximum population is estimated to be between 18 and 40 pairs. Birds have been observed nesting in hollows in large, old trees, and breeding has been documented at least since 1994. The species shows strong nest site fidelity.

6. The population used to extend across Baulkham Hills, Castle Hill, Cherrybrook and Dural, but due to initial clearing for farmland and more recently to urban releases and road construction, the habitat of the population has been greatly reduced. Loss of habitat, particularly core food and breeding trees, continues to be a major threat to the population. Other threats include competition for nest hollows with other species.

7. The Gang-gang Cockatoo population in the Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai Local Government Areas is of significant conservation value as it is the last known breeding population of the species in the Sydney Metropolitan area.

8. In view of the points 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 above, the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that the numbers of the Gang-gang Cockatoo, Callocephalon fimbriatum (Grant), population in the Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai Local Government Areas have been reduced to such a critical level, and its habitat has been so drastically reduced, that it is in immediate danger of extinction, it is not a population of a species already listed on Schedule 1, and it is of significant conservation value. Consequently, the Committee considers that the population is eligible for listing as an Endangered Population on Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Act.

Proposed Gazettal date: 23/02/01
Exhibition period: 23/02/01 - 30/03/01