Petition in support of cockatoos

I am overjoyed at the support I have been receiving from the public, and the media, over the ongoing campaign against the cockatoo cull in broadway.

Since bringing the issue to light I have received many calls and emails from members of the public expressing their shock at the fact that two birds were killed and the killing of more is being considered. I have also been told heartwarming tales about the joy that cockatoos bring to inner-city residents.

Just a few blocks away from the scene of the carnage on Broadway residents of the Glebe Estate know all the local sulphur crested cockatoos personally. Many elderly people with limited mobility live here and the cockatoos are a vital connection to nature for people who have otherwise have few opportunities to experience it.

One particularly friendly cockatoo has been named ‘Chubby’ and has delighted local residents with his antics for years. Many of them were reduced to tears when they heard that he may be on death row.

Myself and a number of concerned community members have made submissions to the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Environment Minister Frank Sartor urging them not to authorise this despicable act but so far the only responses we have received have been politically sanitised non-answers. 

I have therefore started this petition to help quantify the overwhelming public support for the cockatoos – Sartor may not care about the lives of the wildlife he is charged with protecting but he certainly does care about the political fortunes of his Labor Government, so let him know this is an issue that will affect your vote.

For background information on this issue, see my previous posts from August and October

Image by Tatiana Gerus, use authorised under Creative Commons.

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8 responses to “Petition in support of cockatoos

  1. Killing these beautiful birds is disgraceful!

  2. look at the facts surrounding this issue. The birds are not damaging the original building, rather the tacky decorative, styrene foam additions to the building. This material is clearly unsuitable for the pre-existing exposures. It should not, and might not meet local building codes. For this reason it has already been removed from some buildings in the area: 2 Smail St, Broadway shopping center, and the building adjacent to, north of the student accommodation in Bay St, and possibly more. Each of these buildings has benefited visually and the owners no longer need to maintain this inferior product.
    The answer is to remove all of this material and to make somewhere for the cockatoos to nest. The question should not be about killing the birds, rather about how to provide them with suitable nesting sites.

    • claudia koelndorfer

      David Milne. You obviously have no idea about the cockatoos’ living/breeding/roaming range. How do you intend to A) Move the cockatoos’ and B) get the cockatoos’ to stay where they are moved to??

      Claudia Koelndorfer

      • Thanks Claudia. That comment that I made at the end, about providing suitable nesting sites, was a bit offhanded. I have observed these birds in captivity and in the wild for 18 years and have come to understand them quite well. The good and the VERY BAD.
        The reason I made the comment was that I have observed the cockatoos in the Broadway area for 3 years. I have watched breeding pairs make nests, as they would in a termite filled tree hollows, in the larger pieces of styrene foam building trim. One piece on the facade of the shopping center was 700mm high, 400mm wide and 2000mm long. A wedge shape in profile. Perfect! These larger pieces have been removed, but the cockatoos might now see any of this product as a potential nest and are doing damage in their search. When hollowing a nest , cockatoos remove all loose material. With the foam there is no end to the hollowing because it is always loose. Another problem is that the foam doesn’t shape their beaks, so they will chew on other, harder, parts of the building. They are likely damaging other parts of the buildings because they are attracted by the foam in the first place.
        I know that the city and the birds don’t get on together in some aspects, particularly a city of styrene foam.
        If the birds are killed, more will come, and the foam will need to be removed or protected in the future, anyhow. That is what responsible building owners are already doing.
        Dave.

  3. claudia koelndorfer

    I’ve lived in the bush most of my life and we aren’t very happy with an over population of Cockies. they are very distructive when in very large mobs. ripping/shredding tree’s, homes’ and other property and flora. I really think city people should study these birds before agreeing to saveing them. if the cockies aren’t culled they will just continue to breed because there is an over abundance of food. then people will be complaining that there property is being destroyed.

    • Claudia,
      The city and Greater Sydney have always had their small cockatoo flocks. They have always done damage, here and there, but it seems that they don’t build such large flocks, as in the country, so the damage is tolerated. This might be because there is not as much cocky food as you might think, at first, and because nesting sites are rare.
      The current problem is that very few cockys can do a great deal of damage to polystyrene.
      It is possible, at this time, that the problem lies in the use of these building products.
      So lets not kill any more….for now!
      (Please read my reply #4)
      Dave.

  4. I think the onus of studying the birds lies with those who wish to kill them. There is so little wildlife left in our urban environments these days and killing them should be an absolute last resort.

    They are part of nature, like the weather – you make buildings so that they can stand up to the weather so why not do the same with cockatoos? The engineering solutions are very simple but it seems that the building owners have decided they would rather kill these beutiful creatures than make that investment.

  5. Irene,
    I agree with you mostly, but the engineering solutions are not always simple. The mouldings and trim are usually of masonry and cement construction and keyed into the building when it is built. In recent times, these mouldings have been made from styrene foam glued to the flat wall. This is a relatively cheap way to make a building look like the classic it is simulating. Unfortunately the protective coating on the foam is usually not cocky proof and would be very difficult to apply later to the standard required to resist a cockatoo attack.
    If possible, it is better to remove the material altogether. And several building owners have. (The gray stripes on the shopping center car-park, facing Bay St, were once foam mouldings)
    But remove the foam from a ‘fake’ classic and it loses all semblance of style.
    We should appreciate that these building owners are in a very difficult position regarding a solution.
    A point regarding the expense.
    Suppose a building has 600 units and $100K damage, that is $167 per unit, so nobody is going broke over this.
    I agree, perhaps they shouldn’t kill the birds just yet.
    Dave

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