It has been a busy year here in Western Australia!
This year we held our 9th Great Cocky Count with 894 volunteers surveying 469 roost sites. Along with the Count we continued to advocate on behalf of our Black Cockatoos with the WA State government in an attempt to halt the clearing of important Cockatoo habitat in the greater Perth region. BirdLife Australia CEO Paul Sullivan joined us in handing over around 25,000 signatures to then WA Premier Mr Colin Barnett calling for a sensible environmental policy.
BirdLife WA has also been campaigning for the preservation of the Helena and Aurora Range, within the Great Western Woodlands, calling on the WA State Government to prevent iron ore mining in this unique and pristine wilderness. The WA Environment Minister, Stephen Dawson, upheld the decision of the EPA preventing mining in this area and dismissed all the appeals against their assessment. As this goes to press we are waiting on the final decision of the WA Cabinet.
Continuing in our conservation role, BirdLife WA followed the example of BirdLife Tasmania and developed a brochure on Cats and Wildlife. It has been widely distributed and has received a lot of positive feedback.
We welcomed a new staff member Rebecca Boyland who is looking after our South-west Black Cockatoos as Tegan Douglas moved into a new Citizen Science role. We farewelled our Program Manager, Helen Bryant and will welcome Vicki Stokes early in 2018 to this role.
The work of BirdLife WA couldn’t be achieved without the commitment of our volunteers. This year they gave over 26,000 hours of their time to staff our office, ran our 89 excursions and campouts, made 53 school visits and gave presentations at 47 events, conducted surveys across the state and generally worked tirelessly on behalf of our native birds.