Cockies find a real friend

Cockies find a real friend

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Black Cockatoo
Director Jane Hammond on location for her new film.

A new, independent film about the plight of one of our most iconic birds is set to hit cinemas this month, when Jane Hammond’s Black Cockatoo Crisis premieres on November 23.

Featuring local conservationists and locations across the state including Jarrahdale, the film shines a spotlight on Forest Red-Tailed, Carnaby’s and Baudin’s Black Cockatoos, which are all under threat of extinction.

“This is an issue we need to be doing something about,” director Jane Hammond said.

“There are real heroes out there doing their thing and looking after these cockatoos, and if enough people see what’s going on, they will act, because people love these birds.

“I think that’s why I made the film.”

“They are so intelligent, they’re showstoppers, if you see one fly by, you stop what you’re doing and you look up – they have so much character; they’re a big, iconic, noticeable, noisy bird that brings a smile to your face whenever you see them.

“I love everything about them.”

All three WA species of Black Cockatoo are under threat of extinction, and numbers continue to decline due to habitat loss and degradation as they compete with other birds for nesting sites and a lessening food supply, largely driven by mining and deforestation that has devastated their environment.

A mere 15,000 Baudin’s and Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos remain in the wild, and both Baudin’s and Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos are considered “likely to become extinct in the wild.”

Campaign director of WA Forest Alliance Jess Beckerling described the film as, “a critical tool in educating and mobilising the community.”

“We often hear about the push of a species to the brink of extinction, but it’s not always easy to grasp what that means,” Ms Beckerling said.

“This film goes straight to the heart.”

Ms Hammond, who’s previous film Cry of the Forests received multiple best documentary awards at film festivals across the world, said the solutions needed to save Black Cockatoos from extinction are well-known, but action is needed.

“There is universal support across the conservation movement that we should be saving these birds and that it is a priority,” she said.

“We have so few years left, and when you see something and you think there’s a real easy solution to this … we know what to do but we’re not doing it, why is that?

“If we don’t do it now, it will be too late – people have been talking about saving them for decades and we’re just watching them decline.

“There are people on the frontline, like the people of Jarrahdale, they live the reality of the declining habitats, and we will see some of these beautiful environments in the film.

“Together we can solve this.”

Paddy Cullen, a Gosnells-based campaigner for the Save the Black Cockatoos Coalition, is the film’s Associate Producer.

“What’s wonderful is the representations, the close ups of the birds, you get to see their intelligence, their incredible beauty,” he said.

“They’re an iconic bird so to see some of their behaviours close up is awe inspiring.

“Seeing so many different groups in Perth and the southwest trying so hard to save them, it holds a candle up to all these scientists and people in the community working so hard.

“It also shows the battle by different communities to hang on to their forests, which is what we will need to save these birds.

“I’ve been down to Jarrahdale and it’s great to see that community rally around, show their strength and love for the environment.

“It’s needed more and more these days because there are less and less of our forests.

“We are hoping this film will be the circuit breaker for the Premier to step in to save these incredible black cockatoos from extinction.”

Black Cockatoo Crisis will premiere at Luna Leederville on Wednesday, November 23.