Growing Priority Habitat for Cockatoos
Dr Denis Saunders has been studying WA Cockatoos since the 60s. This iconic parrot is currently listed as threatened due to habitat loss.
The hollows Cockatoos require to nest in require over 100 years to develop. Dr Saunders says at the present rate of loss of these trees,
there will be no suitable habit remaining by mid century. No time to waste!
The Bushland News Issue 76 Summer
ran an article that said Carnaby’s Cockatoos require about 5ha of clumped dense canopied trees near water and feeding habitat. BPG member Claire found a website that featured a search engine that is able to identify Carnaby’s cockatoo-friendly plants that are also local to soil types found at Ashfield Flats, where a 5ha planting is a real possibility. See the links section.
Initial search results revealed the following:
Provide food for Carnaby's black-cockatoo: Eucalyptus calophylla (Marri), Acacia saligna (Golden Wreath Wattle).
Provide nesting for Carnaby's black-cockatoo: Eucalyptus calophylla.
Provide night roosting for Carnaby's black-cockatoo: Eucalyptus calophylla, Eucalyptus rudis (Flooded Gum).
BPG has planted all of these species extensively at Ashfield Flats, and in 2011/12 exclusively propagated and planted out over 3,000 species, 1300 of which are identified as priority habitat species for Carnaby's. For more resources, please see the links section of this site. Next year we’ll be growing more habitat!
Council approved the concept plan but funds for the full implementation have not yet been allocated. In the meantime, The TofB Evironmental Officer is preparing a section that is designated in the plant for restoration to native bush, and BPG is growing plants to revegetate starting the winter of 2015.
Ashfield Flats Foreshore
In addition to our regular revegetation works at Ashfield, BPG has been concentrating on propagating and planting out along the foreshore. This includes Shore Rushes along the tide line and Salt Sheoaks on the bank. BPG's also participating in the recent WAPC/TofB activity to mitigate the erosion at Dog Bay just upstream of the Boardwalk. Well be planting more Shore Rush there when the infill is complete.
BPG was formed in 1985, and has a long history of propagation and revegetation using native species appropriate to the area.
The scale of BPG’s planting program has increased over the years as new tools and techniques have been adopted.
Year   Planting Record
2017   BPG is just 400 short of our target of 3,280 seedlings for this year with one more planting morning to go.
2016   BPG grew 1,459 at the GroCentre assisted TofB in planting out 1,000s more.
2015   BPG is headed for 4,000 plants propagated at the GroCentre for planting out at Broadway, Redcliff, and Ashfield Flats.
2014   BPG successfully propagated 3,136 natives at the GroCentre and planted out on TofB and WAPC land at Ashfield Flats, and WAPC land downstream of Redcliffe Bridge.
2013   BPG potted over 1,000 natives, and staged and planted out an additional 1,289 for TofB and WAPC.
2012   Over 3,000 natives of which 1,300 were high or medium priority for Carnaby Cockatoo habitat grown at our new GroCentre and planted out around Bassendean.
2011   850 mixed natives donated by the TofB planted in cooperation with the Success Hill Action Group at Success Hill and Bindaring Park.
2010   2,104 sedges and reeds donated by the TofB for the Swan Foreshore, and tools, and assistance and care for 350 plants with Eden Hill Primary School students at Ashfield Flats.
2009   3,132 mixed natives at Broadway Arboretum, Ashfield Parade, Bindaring Park, Ashfield Flats and Jubilee Reserve, including 131 with EHPS.
2008   2,267 mixed natives at Bindaring Park and Ashfield Flats, including 80 with EHPS.
2007   360 mixed natives at Ashfield Flats.
2006   582 mixed natives at Ashfield Flats.
2005   600 mixed natives at Bindaring and Ashfield Flats.
2004   300 mixed natives at Ashfield Flats, also an undisclosed number of plants at Bilbarin in cooperation with the town folk there.
The inventory of supplies and tools necessary to undertake the native propagation and planting activities at present includes:
An annual requirement for 33 30L sacks (one metric tonne) of sterilized native soil mix
500 1200mm x 13mm to 15mm diameter bamboo stakes for tree guards
2 sets polycarbonate stake templates for tree guard installation
1 box of Greenway tree guards
100L sack RichGro vermiculite for propagation
Star-punch for pre-driving bamboo stakes in sites with uncontrolled fill
2L container Regen Smokemaster propagation liquid
25kg sack of Polycote 9-month slow release native fertilizer
10 Hamilton Patented tree planter tools
5 63mm Pottiputki tree planter tools
5L bottles 12½% industrial bleach solution for pot sterilization
3mx4.5m marquee for planting days, with trolley
2 back-pack sprayers, 15L
Canister of planting tags to identify plants
3000 50mm x 50mm x 125mm standard forestry tubes (plant pots)
32 bundles of 30 each 25mm x 25mm x 1200mm white-top Jarrah stakes
3 Jarrah stake driver tools
2 pot washing assemblies consisting of 2 99L black plastic tubs, two forge blowers and associated PVC pipe aeration plumbing
6 Men of the Trees designed and constructed double planting frames, each capable of holding 1200 plants
288 wire mesh plant stands, each holding up to 25 forestry tubes
Four-wheel garden cart for distributing plants to the designated areas on plantings days
2 x trestle propagation tables
8-foot utility trailer amd plant cage
This BPG owned equipment used to be stored at various members’ houses, and considerable effort was necessary to marshal and return the equipment on pot cleaning, propagation and planting days. Equipment required for planting that was not currently owned by BPG at the time like a planting trailer was borrowed on the day subject to the continuing largess of the owners.
The logistics of cleaning and sterilizing 1000’s of pots, then filling them with certified dieback free soil, planting the seeds, watering, thinning and ultimately sorting out and tagging for distribution to the various parks and reserves on planting days are immense. No individual BPG member can be expected to accommodate this level of activity at their house for long and it’s become impractical to manage when geographically dispersed.
We planted over 3,000 natives in cooperation with WA Planning Commission and Town of Bassendean in 2009, the last year we had our full propagation program up and running in the backyard. Not unexpectedly in 2009 after several years the BPG’s then current “nurseryman” wanted his backyard back. The scale of our program and the requirements for upgrading to industry standard nursery hygiene practices to avoid the risk of spreading dieback meant we’d outgrown our informal methods that used to serve our purposes.
So BPG made a commitment to develop a dedicated compound to store the required equipment free from imposition on any one member, and to undertake the annual propagation program while meeting the Nursery & Garden Industry Australia hygiene standards.
WAPC came to the rescue with an offer to let BPG use space at their compound at Black Swan Island, where they are winding down revegetation works. Steve successfully obtained a Lotterywest Grant for $13,000 to buy a sea container, used pallet racking, a trailer, permanent reticulation for the propagation frames, rain water capture, sedges pond, materials for a solar sterilizer and more. You can see the results in the photos section.
If you haven’t seen the site yet, please come out on our next activity day and see what we have.