Threat to the population of Glossy Black Cockatoos on #26 Old Bathurst Rd, Woodford.

The proposed development of 26 Old Bathurst Rd (application number X1033/2010) will negatively impact upon threatened species that are living in the area. This serious issue has been completely neglected in the current environmental assessment. Additionally the address stated in the Environmental Assessment is incorrect. This suggests that the wrong area has been assessed and would explain the complete absence of an impact statement about the destruction of prime feeding habitat of the clearly resident population of threatened Glossy Black Cockatoos.

Upon that proposed development site there is a long-term resident population of Glossy Black Cockatoos. Glossy Black Cockatoos are a threatened species and are listed as vulnerable to extinction on the 2007 advisory list of threatened vertebrate fauna. Being listed as vulnerable means that the Glossy Black Cockatoo is likely to become endangered unless the circumstances threatening its survival and reproduction improve. The major threat to this species existence is the availability of suitable habitat that contains a food source.

The Glossy Black Cockatoo is particularly vulnerable to extinction because it relies upon a single food source, the fruits of Allocasuarina trees. The block of land at 26 Old Bathurst Rd is entirely covered in these trees and is prime Glossy Black Cockatoo habitat, providing a year-round food source for these animals. I have conducted an in depth ecological study of this population in 2001 and I have continued to monitor the population for the following 9 years. Thus I can confirm that the Glossy Black Cockatoo population in this area is resident, long-term and show high site fidelity. Thus clearing the block at 26 Old Bathurst Rd of Allocasuarina trees could easily lead to a local extinction of this population and negatively contribute to the conservation status of this species as a whole.

The Department of the Environment and Water Resources website states that species listed as vulnerable to extinction are of “national environmental significance”. There is already a large community interest and involvement with the monitoring of Glossy Black Cockatoos in this area (as evidenced by photographs and video footage provided). Thus I suggest that there is an opportunity for this iconic species to become a flagship species to promote conservation in the Blue Mountains National Park.

It must be stressed that conservation of this vulnerable species is integrally linked to the conservation of its SOLE food source. Therefore we urge you to not to allow the clearing and development of the area of prime and occupied Glossy Black Cockatoo habitat that exists on 26 Old Bathurst Rd.

An environmental assessment impact on local wildlife, commissioned by the developer, concluded there would be no significant impact on any threatened species or populations as a result of the proposed development. Yet these photos, documented by local residents, show the endangered birds are frequent visitors and foragers on this block.

For more information about Glossies visit Birds Australia.