This article was originally published in EcoInformationSource 2002
Glossy Black Cockatoo
All along the eastern seaboard of Australia a large black flying parasite can sometimes be heard crying out with deafening squawks reverberating around craggy cliffs. However, this magnificent creature is less commonly seen feeding on its helpless host. Not often referred to as a parasite, the Glossy Black Cockatoo (eastern subspecies) in South East Queensland must feed off either of two plant species to survive. A parasite is an organism that must feed exclusively off another organism to continue to exist.
The Glossy Black Cockatoo feeds for 6-7 hours a day exclusively on the very hard seeds of Sheoak trees. Surely they must feed on other stuff as well you ask? Well, it appears that the habit of the Glossy Black Cockatoo to chew bark, wood or fruits of gum trees (like other cockatoos) has been mistaken for feeding. All the studies to date show that it is just a thing they do and is not feeding. During the nesting season a division of labour agreement operates between the two partners. The female lays and incubates the eggs most of the time while the male partner feeds himself and then regurgitates food for the female. Good job they are close! Usually partners for life in fact. So the Glossy Black Cockatoo is effectively a mobile yet noisy parasite of the Sheoaks.
You may have missed it, but the Tasmanian Government last week unbelievably signed an agreement handing over Tasmania's forests to the Gunns pulp mill for the next 20 years - in the very same week Professor Garnaut warned them of the dire climate change consequences facing us.
If we don't act now, bulldozers will start clearing land for the mill that will contribute 2% of Australia's greenhouse emissions - at a time when we're being told we need to drastically cut our emissions. But unfortunately Australia's forests were largely left out of Garnaut's recent interim report.
We have only one opportunity to put them in the picture. A proper assessment in his impending Climate Change Report of our native forests' climate change value may just sink the mill project. Click here now to sign the petition asking Professor Garnaut to examine the full climate impact of this mill madness and the logging of Tasmania's native forests.
More than one million people worldwide have signed the WSPA Animals Matter petition for a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare at the United Nations.
Every country in the world is now represented on the petition.
The Australian government has appointed a representative to liaise on this issue to help integrate animal welfare into the UN agenda. This is another great step forward towards a Declaration that will help protect all animals, everywhere.
Please sign the Animals Matter petition to help make the Declaration a reality. Go to the link below:
Act now to protect Moreton Bay's endangered sea turtles and dugongs!
Please help Moreton Bay's threatened marine wildlife today. Give 5 minutes of your time to sign this online letter to the Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation asking for greater protection in the Marine Park, then forward to your friends and family.
Over the summer the Queensland Government released a draft zoning plan for Moreton Bay, earmarking a mere 15% protection in Marine National Park zones. These are areas where we are free to enter- to swim, boat, dive, and snorkel - but where all wildlife is safe from harm.
While 15% is better than the current protection of less than 1%, it does not go far enough for our threatened wildlife.
Marine scientists around the globe say that it is critical that at least 30% of all ocean habitats, such as seagrasses and corals, are given Marine National Park status. Our chance to support our turtles and dugongs is closing fast. Public comments were due by 5pm Friday 7 March 2008.
Moreton Bay Marine Park is only reviewed every ten years, so this is a once in a decade opportunity. Click here!
Act now and sign the letter;
With overwhelming public support we really do believe that the Government will provide more than just a mere 15% protection for our precious marine wildlife. Don't let this chance go by. Our turtles, dugongs and other wildlife need your support today. Your grandchildren will thank you for it.
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