Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary, in Cornwall, UK has a new Yellow-crested Cockatoo chick. Park Keeper, Leanne, was more than happy to give the chubby little bird a clean bill of health at his nest check. She reported, “The parents are very attentive, so the chick has grown well, and it’s good to see feathers appearing now.”
Paradise Park Director, Alison Hales, explained further, “Yellow-crested Cockatoos are ‘Critically Endangered’ in the wild – this species and its sub-species now only remain in small, scattered populations through the islands of Indonesia. In an ongoing project with the World Parrot Trust, a recent survey indicated that the species is in much greater peril than previously thought, so this little chick is very important and will play a key role in the breeding program. Previous youngsters have been placed on breeding loan with other bird collections and zoos; they will be available if needed for a reintroduction scheme in the future.”
The Yellow-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea), also known as the ‘Lesser Sulphur-crested Cockatoo’, is medium-sized (approximately 34 cm long) with white plumage, bluish-white bare orbital skin, grey feet, a black bill, and a retractile yellow or orange crest.
The species is found in wooded and cultivated areas of East Timor and Indonesia's islands of Sulawesi and the Lesser Sundas.
The bird's diet consists mainly of seeds, buds, fruits, nuts and herbaceous plants.
The species is classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. According to the IUCN: “This species is endemic to Timor-Leste and Indonesia, where it was formerly common throughout Nusa Tenggara (from Bali to Timor), on Sulawesi and its satellite islands, and the Masalembu Islands (in the Java Sea). It has undergone a dramatic decline, which is still ongoing, particularly in the last quarter of the 20th century, such that it is now extinct on many islands and close to extinction on most others…
Its precipitous decline is almost entirely attributable to unsustainable exploitation for internal and international trade. Illegal trapping continues in many areas…”
In 1989, Paradise Park founder, Mike Reynolds, set up the World Parrot Trust, a registered charity, which is now active around the world. The charity enables Paradise Park to work for conservation in the wild, as well as at the sanctuary itself. So far, the Trust has helped the survival of 66 species of parrot in 42 countries.
Learn more about the World Parrot Trust project for the Yellow-crested Cockatoo here: https://www.parrots.org/projects/yellow-crested-cockatoo