Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Muir's Corella (Cacatua pastinator pastinator) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), 2008b) [Recovery Plan].
 
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat Abatement Plan for Beak and Feather Disease Affecting Endangered Psittacine Species (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2005q) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey Guidelines for Australia's Threatened Birds. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.2 (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2010l) [Admin Guideline].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
 
List of Migratory Species (13/07/2000) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000b) [Legislative Instrument].
 
List of Migratory Species - Amendment to the list of migratory species under section 209 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (26/11/2013) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2013af) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Listing Status
WA: Listed as Other protected fauna (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013 list)
Scientific name Cacatua pastinator pastinator [25981]
Family Cacatuidae:Psittaciformes:Aves:Chordata:Animalia
Species author (Gould, 1841)
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Cacatua pastinator pastinator.

Common name: Muir's Corella (southern).

Other names: Western Corella (southern), Western Long-billed Corella.
There has been much debate about the taxonomic status of the Corellas.

C. pastinator and C. tenuirostris have previously been treated as a single species (Christidis & Boles 1994; Condon 1975).

C. pastinator has also previously been combined with the Little Corella, C. sanguinea, as C. p. pastinator on the basis that the bill-length of C. pastinator derbyi from the north of the range is intermediate between that of the longer-billed nominate pastinator in the south, and the shorter billed C. sanguinea in the north (Mees 1961). Ford (1985) argued that this was the effect of long-established differences in the size of two isolated south-western populations, and demonstrated sympatry between C. pastinator derbyi and C. sanguinea. The range of the Little Corella has recently expanded into the northern wheatbelt of southern Western Australia, and both subspecies are now common there (Ford 1985).

Currently, the nominate pastinator is considered to be restricted to the extreme south-west with the isolated subspecies derbyi occurring in the northern wheatbelt of southern Western Australia. C. p. derbyi is significantly smaller than the nominate (Ford 1987) with a shorter bill (Higgins 1999).

Muir's Corella (southern) is a medium-sized and rather stocky cockatoo between 43 to 48 cm in length. It has a wingspan of about 90 cm and a mass that ranges from 560 g to 815 g (Carter 1912; Higgins 1999; Johnstone & Storr 1998). It is mostly white in colour, but has a prominent orange-red wash over the lores, a strong yellow wash on the undersides of the wings and tail, a ring of blue-grey skin around each eye, a pale-grey to off-white bill, and grey legs and feet. In addition, the feathers of the head, neck and breast have orange-red bases that, although normally hidden, can be exposed during preening or if ruffled by the wind. The male and female appear alike. Juvenile birds are very similar to adult birds, but they can be distinguished, when viewed at close range, on the basis of the smooth (rather than flaky) texture of the bill, the faint yellow wash over the ear-coverts, upperparts and underbody, the shorter upper mandible, and the paler and less pronounced ring of skin around each eye (Higgins 1999).

Muir's Corella (southern) occurs in pairs, small flocks, and large flocks of up to 1000 birds (Carter 1912, 1924; Chapman & Cale 2006; Massam & Long 1992; Storr 1991).

Muir's Corella (southern) is confined to the extreme south-west of Western Australia (Schodde & Mason 1997). Its distribution extends from McAlinden and Qualeup, south to the lower Perup River and Lake Muir, and east to Rocky Gully and Frankland (Garnett 1993; Massam & Long 1992; Storr 1991).

The extent of occurrence is estimated, with high reliability, to be 3000 km² (Garnett & Crowley 2000). The extent of occurrence has declined extensively since European settlement. Muir's Corella (southern) formerly occurred from the Swan River and Avon River, west to the Vasse River and Augusta, east to Broomehill, the Pallinup River and the Stirling and Porongurup Ranges, and south to Albany (Carter 1912; Garnett 1993; Schodde & Mason 1997; Storr 1991). It disappeared from the Swan River and Vasse River in colonial times (Storr 1991), and from the Broomehill area in the 1890s (Storr 1991). It disappeared from the Avon Valley, Stirling Range and Porongurup Range by about 1900 (Carter 1912; Masters & Milhinch 1974), and was last recorded at Augusta in 1916 (Storr 1991). By the 1920s its distribution had contracted to the region around Lake Muir. Its distribution continued to contract until the 1940s (Saunders et al. 1985; Smith 1991), after which the decline was reversed and its distribution began to gradually expand to its current extent (Forshaw 1981; Smith 1991). This expansion of the distribution has evidently ceased because the extent of occurrence is currently considered to be stable (Garnett & Crowley 2000).

The area of occupancy is estimated, with medium reliability, to be 500 km². The area of occupancy has declined extensively since the arrival of the first settlers but is currently considered to be stable (Garnett & Crowley 2000).

Muir's Corella (southern) is held in captivity at Perth Zoo and by licensed aviculturists as part of a captive breeding program initiated by the WA Department of Conservation and Land Management in 1995 (Chapman & Cale 2006). The Western Corella Cacatua pastinator is also held in small numbers at four other zoos or institutions worldwide (ISIS 2006), but it is not known what proportion of these birds, if any, are the southern subspecies C. p. pastinator.

Muir's Corella (southern) occurs in a single location, concentrated around the Lake Muir region of south-west of Western Australia (Chapman & Cale 2006; Garnett & Crowley 2000).

The habitat of Muir's Corella (southern) appears to be severely fragmented. Much of the original habitat has been lost due to clearing, processes associated with rural dieback (such as salinisation of soils) and degradation (Chapman et al. 2005; Garnett & Crowley 2000; Mawson & Johnstone 1997; Mawson & Long 1994). Muir's Corella is now confined to small remnants of its former habitat, including isolated trees in areas that have otherwise been cleared of native vegetation (Mawson & Long 1994). It has been able to persist in small habitat remnants in agricultural regions because these regions provide permanent water and an abundant source of food (Carter 1912; Garnett & Crowley 2000; Smith 1982), but many of these areas are now being converted into Eucalytpus globulus plantations or vegetable crops, both of which are unsuitable for Muir's Corella (Garnett & Crowley 2000).

Muir's Corella (southern) has been well surveyed. Ground surveys have been conducted two to four times per year in each year since 1985 and aerial surveys were conducted biennially from 1990 to 1999, and again in 2002 (Chapman & Cale 2006; Massam & Long 1992). Based on the number of surveys, the distribution of Muir's Corella (southern) is probably well known, and estimates of population size are likely to be fairly accurate.

The population size of Muir's Corella (southern) is estimated at between 1500 to 3000 birds (Chapman & Cale 2006; Garnett & Crowley 2000; Massam & Long 1992). Muir's Corella (southern) is locally common in some areas of farmland but is generally uncommon and patchily distributed (Storr 1991).

Muir's Corella (southern) occurs in a single contiguous population (Garnett & Crowley 2000).

The population size of Muir's Corella (southern) is smaller today than it was in the past. The population size of Muir's Corella (southern) had declined dramatically by the beginning of the 20th century (Carter 1912), at which time it was still reasonably common (Garnett 1993). Numbers continued to decline until the 1940s (Smith 1991) after which the decline was reversed and the population size began to increase (Smith 1991). The population size is estimated to have declined to about 100 birds by the 1920s but numbers have since recovered and increased from about 1000 birds in 1978 (Saunders et al. 1985) to between 1500 and 3000 birds (Chapman & Cale 2006; Higgins 1999; Massam & Long 1992), including an estimate of at least 1420 birds in 1991 (Massam & Long 1992) and an estimate of about 2360 birds in 1999 (Garnett & Crowley 2000). The population size currently appears to be stable (Garnett & Crowley 2000; Mawson & Johnstone 1997).

Muir's Corella (southern) is not known to undergo extreme natural fluctuations in population size, extent of occurrence or area of occupancy.

The generation length has been estimated at five years (Garnett & Crowley 2000) but is probably greater than 10 years (Chapman & Cale 2006).

No cross-breeding has been recorded in the wild between Muir's Corella (southern) and the northern subspecies of the Western Corella, Cacatua pastinator derbyi, or between Muir's Corella (southern) and any other species. However, it is possible that cross-breeding could occur in the future because the distribution of the northern subspecies of the Western Corella is advancing southwards towards areas inhabited by Muir's Corella (southern), and the distribution and population size of the Long-billed Corella Cacatua tenuirostris and the Little Corella C. sanguinea are also expanding (Blyth 2004; Chapman & Cale 2006; Garnett & Crowley 2000). The Long-billed Corella is known to cross-breed with the Western Corella in captivity (Chapman & Cale 2006).

Since 1998 Muir's Corella (southern) has been recorded in Stoate State Forest, Lake Muir Nature Reserve, Noobijup Nature Reserve, Cobertup Nature Reserve and Bokarup Nature Reserve (Barrett et al. 2003). However, most of the population and breeding habitat occurs on private property (Chapman & Cale 2006).

Muir's Corella occurs in eucalyptus woodlands that are dominated by Wandoo, Eucalyptus wandoo, Marri, E. calophylla, or Jarrah, E. marginata. Because of clearing for agriculture, most suitable woodland habitat now consists of remnant patches. These patches occur in or adjacent to farmland, or along roadsides, paddock boundaries or watercourses, and sometimes as a few, isolated shade trees in otherwise cleared paddocks (Carter 1912; Forshaw 1981; Garnett & Crowley 2000; Higgins 1999; Mawson & Long 1994; Saunders et al. 1985; Smith & Moore 1991).

The subspecies often occurs in farmland, especially in croplands and sometimes pasture, where there are ample watering points and some nearby large trees for roosting or breeding. They often forage in cereal crops close to preferred habitat (Carter 1912; Chapman & Cale 2006; Massam & Long 1992), and occasionally occur on open sandplains (Carter 1912). They are often seen perching in the tops of dead trees (Carter 1912) but not usually on hot days (G Smith in Higgins 1999).

Muir's Corella breeds in hollows in large old eucalypts in woodland and remnant woodland. They now often nest in lone trees in paddocks and along roadsides, especially Corymbia calophylla, Eucalyptus marginata, E. rudis, E. cornuta and Melaleuca preissiana, which are used for nesting (Carter 1912, 1924; Chapman & Cale 2006; Garnett & Crowley 2000; Mawson & Long 1994; Storr 1991). In one study in the Lake Muir area, the age of the trees used for nesting ranged from 167 to 1333 years (Mawson & Long 1994). Muir's Corella mainly nests in living trees but will also nest in dead trees. Living trees used for nesting must have dead limbs. Their nest trees generally have open canopies but they will nest occasionally in living trees with dense canopies (Carter 1912, 1924; Higgins 1999; Johnstone & Storr 1998; Mawson & Long 1994). They have once been recorded nesting in a living tree surrounded by acres of dead trees (Carter 1912).

Muir's Corella (southern) does not occur in any of the ecological communities that are listed as threatened under the EPBC Act 1999. It is not known to associate with any other species or subspecies that is listed as threatened under the EPBC Act 1999.

No specific information is available on the ages of sexual maturity or life expectancy in Muir's Corella (southern). However, they are likely to be similar to those recorded for the northern subspecies of the Western Corella, which first breeds at three to five years of age (Smith 1991), and is capable of surviving to more than 25 years of age (ABBBS 2001; Brouwer et al. 2000; Rowley & Mawson 2001).

Muir's Corella (southern) has been recorded as breeding around Lake Muir and the Unicup, Tone and Perup Rivers (Mawson & Long 1994; Smith 1991).

Muir's Corella (southern) breeds from September to November (Carter 1912; Johnstone & Storr 1998) and possibly into summer and autumn, based on a single record of breeding in March (North 1912). It lays its eggs on rotten wood or wood dust at the base of a hollow limb, or a hole in the trunk, of a large living or dead tree, especially C. calophylla and E. marginata, but also E. rudis, E. cornuta and M. preissiana (Carter 1912, 1924; Chapman & Cale 2006; Johnstone & Storr 1998; Mawson & Long 1994; North 1912). Pairs may use a different tree hollow for breeding each year or they may use the same hollow for up to three consecutive seasons (Carter 1912, 1924).

Clutches consist of one to four white eggs that are incubated for a period of 26 to 29 days (Chapman & Cale 2006; Higgins 1999; Johnstone & Storr 1998; North 1912).

The role of the parents in the incubation of the eggs and care of the young has not been recorded but it is likely that both parents incubate the eggs and brood and feed the young, as has been recorded in the northern subspecies of the Western Corella, C. p. butleri (Saunders 1977a; Smith 1991). The fledging period and period of independence have not been recorded but it is likely that young remain in the nest for 53–67 days (Smith 1991) and become independent three months after leaving the nest (Smith & Rowley 1995), as has been recorded in the northern subspecies of the Western Corella.

The only quantitative information on breeding success comes from nine nests that were monitored at Unicup in 1977 and produced a mean of 0.9 fledgelings per nest (Chapman & Cale 2006). The survival rates of adult and immature birds are unknown but most young probably die before they are able to breed (Chapman & Cale 2006; Chapman et al. 2005).

Muir's Corella (southern) feeds mainly on seeds but it also takes insect larvae, bulbs, tubers, fruits and stock feed and, possibly, nectar (Carter 1912, 1924; Chapman & Cale 2006; Smith & Moore 1991). It takes seeds from grasses and other plants including Avena sativa, Corymbia calophylla, Erodium, Hordeum vulgare, Poa annua, Romulea rosea, Rumex crispus, Stipa, Trifolium and Triticum aestivum (Carter 1912; Smith & Moore 1991). It has been observed to feed on the bulbs of a species of Drosera (Carter 1912), and on the tubers of Cyperus rotundus (Smith & Moore 1991). A detailed study in the Unicup area found the crops of 18 birds contained 4893 seeds, included Iridaceae: Romulea rosea; Poaceae: Avena sativa; Hordeum vulgare; Poa annua; Stipa; Triticum aestivum; Cucurbitaceae; Fabaceae: Trifolium; Geraniaceae: Erodium; Myrtaceae: Eucalyptus calophylla and Polygonaceae: Rumex crispus as well as insects (including Coleoptera) (Higgins 1999; Smith & Moore 1991).

Little information is available on seasonal variation in the diet, but seeds of cereal grasses are important in summer and early autumn, and seeds and corms of R. rosea, which are common in the diet throughout the year, are probably the major source of food from late autumn to spring (Smith & Moore 1991). During winter and early spring they have commonly been seen feeding on the growing tips and bases of leaves of Doublegee, Emex australis, Wild Geranium, Erodium, and Cape Weed, Arctotheca calendula, often biting plants off at ground level before eating them. They may also eat flower heads of Cape Weed and are said to have fed on flowers among the foliage of trees (Carter 1924).

Muir's Corella usually feeds on the ground in large flocks and forage in open areas, such as pasture, or mown firebreaks at the edges of crops. They formerly also foraged on sandplains (Carter 1912; G. Smith, as cited in Higgins 1999; Smith & Moore 1991).

They often feed on cereal crops (Carter 1912, 1924; Massam & Long 1992; Smith & Moore 1991) and they formerly fed on wheat tied into stooks (Carter 1912). They are attracted to artificial grain-sources, such as silos, pigpens and grainfed cattle and sheep and their dung (J.L. Long, as cited in Higgins 1999; Smith & Moore 1991).

Muir's Corella uses its long upper mandible to dig in the ground for roots, corms and tubers, pulling up seedlings, biting through stems of thistles to feed on their seeds, or plucking seeds from the heads of standing cereal crops (Carter 1912, 1924; Forshaw 1981; Smith & Moore 1991). When they are feeding on seeds of Marri, Eucalyptus calophylla, they hold the seed capsule in one foot and probe it with their upper mandible, then raise the capsule and tip the contents into their mouth. They will dig up newly planted and germinating seeds of Wheat (Triticum aestivum) and Oats (Avena sativa). When seed-heads of wheat have set, they reach up and pluck individual seeds from the seed-heads and if the seed-heads are too high, they drag the plant down, hold it on the ground and pluck the seeds.

The movement of Muir's Corella appears to be only local as there is no evidence of large-scale seasonal movements. At Lake Muir, the population is said to move north after breeding to spend the non-breeding season (summer) to the east of Boyup Brook and is believed to spend the summer in one or two large flocks (Saunders et al. 1985; Smith & Moore 1992). However, this movement was not obvious during population surveys from 1991 to 1997 (M. Massam, as cited in Higgins 1999). Birds tagged as nestlings which also moved to Boyup Brook returned with the rest of the population to the breeding area of Unicup by March (Smith & Moore 1992).


No information is available on the home ranges or territories of Muir's Corella (southern). However, based on the northern subspecies of the Western Corella, pairs probably only defend the nest itself, and attend a hollow only for the duration of a breeding attempt (Saunders et al. 1985). Breeding birds probably remain within a few kilometres of their nest sites, but non-breeding birds could possibly roam over an area of up to 250 km² (Smith & Moore 1992).

Muir's Corella (southern) and the northern subspecies of the Western Corella differ only in size (Muir's Corella (southern) is significantly larger, and has a longer bill, than C. p. butleri) (Ford 1987; Higgins 1999). Confusion between the two subspecies is unlikely to occur in the wild because the distributions of the two subspecies are geographically separate (Johnstone & Storr 1998).

Muir's Corella (southern) is similar to, and can be confused with, the Little Corella (Higgins 1999). Adult Muir's Corellas (southern) can be distinguished from the Little Corella by the much longer upper mandible, larger size and bulkier form, more orange-red (rather than pinkish) lores, and more intense yellow wash on the undersides of the wings and tail. Juvenile Muir's Corellas (southern) are more difficult to separate because their bills are shorter than those of the adults, and are similar in shape to the bills of Little Corellas. However, the bills of juvenile Muir's Corellas (southern) are still slightly longer than the bills of Little Corellas, and they are best distinguished by the pale-yellow wash over the ear-coverts, upperparts and upperbody (these areas are clean white at all ages in the Little Corella) (Higgins 1999).

Muir's Corella (southern) is readily detected. It is active, noisy and conspicuous (Carter 1912).

The key threats to Muir's Corella (southern) include:

Habitat Loss

Much of the original habitat of Muir's Corella (southern) has been lost due to clearing for agriculture and plantations, processes associated with rural dieback (such as salinisation of soils), degradation by livestock and fire (Chapman & Cale 2005; Garnett & Crowley 2000; Mawson & Long 1994; Mawson & Johnstone 1997). Muir's Corella (southern) has been able to persist in some agricultural regions because they provide permanent water and an abundant source of food (Carter 1912; Garnett & Crowley 2000; Smith 1982), but many of these areas are now being converted into Eucalytpus globulus plantations or vegetable crops, both of which are unsuitable for Muir's Corella (Garnett & Crowley 2000). The loss of habitat has reduced the availability of hollow-bearing trees that are used for nesting and, although there appears to be an adequate number of potential nest sites at present, the availability of hollow-bearing trees is continuing to decline, and this could limit the population size of Muir's Corella (southern) in the future (Massam & Long 1992; Mawson & Long 1994).

Shooting and Poisoning

Muir's Corella (southern) are considered to be pests of cereal crops and horticultural crops (Carter 1912, 1924; M. Massam, as cited in Higgins 1999) and are listed as a Declared Pest of Agriculture under the provisions of the Agriculture and Related Resources Protection Act 1976, administered by the WA Department of Agriculture and Food (Chapman 2006). While they are now protected under WA conservation provisions as well as under the EPBC Act, they were once regularly shot and poisoned (Carter 1912). Large flocks are vulnerable to poisoning (Saunders et al. 1985) and early efforts to poison them probably caused the dramatic decline of the population (Carter 1912; Smith 1982; Saunders et al. 1985). Illegal shooting may still be occuring (Garnett 1993; M. Massam, as cited in Higgins 1999). Fledglings are also likely to be taken illegally for the bird trade (Blakers et al. 1984; Smith, G.T. in Higgins 1999).

Competitors

Muir's Corella (southern) competes for nest sites with other birds and feral Honeybees Apis mellifera, which can form long-term hives in tree hollows, and can sting and kill breeding females and their chicks (Chapman & Cale 2006). The intensity of competition is likely to increase in future because the availability of hollow-bearing trees is continuing to decline (Massam & Long 1994). In the future, Muir's Corella (southern) might also be forced to compete for food and breeding resources with the Little Corella and Long-billed Corella, both of which are increasing in number and expanding their range, and with the northern subspecies of the Western Corella, which is expanding its range southward (Blyth 2004; Chapman & Cale 2006; Garnett & Crowley 2000).

Hybridisation

There is some potential for interbreeding to occur if populations of the Little Corella, Long-billed Corella or northern subspecies of the Western Corella spread into areas occupied by Muir's Corella (southern) (Chapman & Cale 2006; Garnett & Crowley 2000).

Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease

Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease is an infectious and potentially fatal disease that is common in Australian parrots. It can cause extremely high mortality rates amongst nestlings, and could potentially have a catastrophic effect on the small extant population of Muir's Corella (southern). The disease has not been recorded in in Muir's Corella (southern), but symptoms have been observed in populations of the Little Corella, Long-billed Corella and other species of Cacatua (DEH 2005q), which suggests that Muir's Corella (southern) could also be vulnerable to infection. It can be introduced to endangered populations of parrots via the movements of common species carrying the disease (DEH 2005q).

Other

In the northern population, factors causing post-fledging and pre-independence mortality include predation by cats and eagles, road deaths, drowning in water tanks and becoming entangled in fences (Smith 1991), which are likely to also affect the southern subspecies.

The northern subspecies of the Western Corella has a very low reproductive rate: it is estimated that, on average, a single pair would need to breed for 10 years to replace themselves in the breeding population (Smith 1991). It is probable that Muir's Corella (southern) has a similarly low reproductive rate, and this, combined with the current small population size, would limit the ability of the subspecies to recover after exposure to a threatening event (Garnett 1993).

The following recovery actions have been implemented for Muir's Corella (southern) (Chapman & Cale 2006):

  • Ground surveys were conducted two to four times per year from 1985 to 2002, and aerial surveys were conducted biennially from 1990 to 1999, and in 2002. It was determined that ground surveys were more effective than aerial surveys, and ground surveys are now conducted four times per year by the WA Department of Environment and Conservation.
  • Studies have been conducted on the breeding biology.
  • A distribution map is being prepared from records in the WA Museum database.
  • A captive-breeding program was commenced in 1995. This program currently involves the WA Department of Environment and Conservation, Perth Zoo and licensed aviculturists.
  • A campaign to increase the awareness of farmers and the general public is being conducted by Perth Zoo, the WA Museum, the WA Department of Environment and Conservation and the WA Department of Agriculture and Food. The WA Department of Environment and Conservation and the Department of Agriculture and Food also provide landholders with information on non-lethal methods to prevent damage to crops and property by Muir's Corella (southern) (WA DEC 2005).
  • A program to control the spread of the introduced Long-billed Corella in Western Australia was commenced in 2003. This program is managed by the WA Department of Environment and Conservation.
  • A new, safe and efficient method to control feral Honeybees is being developed by the WA Department of Environment and Conservation (Hay & Clunes-Ross 2007).
  • A recovery plan has been prepared and will be available in 2008.

The following recovery actions are recommended in the draft recovery plan (Chapman & Cale 2006):

  • Continue the monitoring program, studies of the breeding biology, and the control program for the introduced Long-billed Corella.
  • Map foraging and breeding habitats and develop guidelines for the management of these habitats.
  • Initiate a revegetation program to plant favoured species of hollow-bearing trees. The benefits of this program will not be seen for some decades, however, because it takes many years for hollows that are suitable for nesting to form naturally. For example, 31 trees that housed nests at Unicup were estimated to range from 167 to 1333 years of age (Mawson & Long 1994).
  • Conduct trials to determine and implement a technique to eradicate feral Honeybees from key breeding areas.
  • Produce a 'recovery kit' to distribute to the community.
  • Investigate methods to control or prevent further spread of the Long-billed Corella.
  • Conduct a genetic study to determine the taxonomic relationship between Muir's Corella (southern) and the northern subspecies of the Western Corella.

There have been three major studies published on Muir's Corella (southern): a study of the diet at Unicup (Smith & Moore 1991); three population surveys in the Lake Muir region in 1990-1991 (Massam & Long 1992); and a study of nest trees in the Lake Muir-Tone Bridge area (Mawson & Long 1994). The WA Museum has conducted studies on the breeding biology since 1996 (Chapman & Cale 2006), but the results of these studies are thus far unpublished.

The Action Plan for Australian Birds provides a guide to threat abatement and management strategies for the southern subspecies of Muir's Corella (Garnett & Crowley 2000). A recovery plan for the species is also in preparation.

The Australian Government has developed a Threat Abatement Plan for Beak and Feather Disease Affecting Endangered Psittacine Species which aims to:

  • Ensure that Beak and Feather Disease does not increase the likelihood of extinction or escalate the threatened status of psittacine birds (parrots).
  • Minimise the chance of Beak and Feather Disease becoming a key threatening process for other psittacine species.

A Recovery Plan for Muir's Corella (southern) is being prepared.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000 (Garnett, S.T. & G.M. Crowley, 2000) [Cwlth Action Plan].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Land clearance (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2001w) [Listing Advice].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Cacatua pastinator pastinatorin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cs) [Internet].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Habitat alteration (vegetation, soil, hydrology) due to trampling and grazing by livestock Cacatua pastinator pastinatorin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cs) [Internet].
Biological Resource Use:Hunting and Collecting Terrestrial Animals:Direct exploitation by humans including hunting Cacatua pastinator pastinatorin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cs) [Internet].
Biological Resource Use:Hunting and Collecting Terrestrial Animals:Illegal hunting/harvesting and collection Cacatua pastinator pastinatorin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cs) [Internet].
Biological Resource Use:Hunting and Collecting Terrestrial Animals:illegal control Muir's Corella (Cacatua pastinator pastinator) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), 2008b) [Recovery Plan].
Cacatua pastinator pastinatorin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cs) [Internet].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate change altering atmosphere/hydrosphere temperatures, rainfall patterns and/or frequency of severe weather events Muir's Corella (Cacatua pastinator pastinator) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), 2008b) [Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat loss, modification and/or degradation Muir's Corella (Cacatua pastinator pastinator) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), 2008b) [Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat modification, destruction and alteration due to changes in land use patterns Muir's Corella (Cacatua pastinator pastinator) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), 2008b) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit, European Rabbit) Cacatua pastinator pastinatorin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cs) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Apis mellifera (Honey Bee, Apiary Bee) Muir's Corella (Cacatua pastinator pastinator) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), 2008b) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Felis catus (Cat, House Cat, Domestic Cat) Cacatua pastinator pastinatorin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cs) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:unspecified Cacatua pastinator pastinatorin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cs) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Cacatua sanguinea (Little Corella) Muir's Corella (Cacatua pastinator pastinator) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), 2008b) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Cacatua tenuirostris (Long-billed Corella) Muir's Corella (Cacatua pastinator pastinator) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), 2008b) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Changes in hydrological regimes due to water storages Cacatua pastinator pastinatorin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cs) [Internet].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Salinity Muir's Corella (Cacatua pastinator pastinator) Recovery Plan (Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), 2008b) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Cacatua pastinator pastinatorin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cs) [Internet].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Cacatua pastinator pastinatorin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cs) [Internet].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Vehicle related mortality Cacatua pastinator pastinatorin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cs) [Internet].

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Cacatua pastinator pastinator in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Thu, 31 Jul 2014 05:25:18 +1000.