Funding boost for threatened cockatoos at Murdoch

January 4, 2018


Restoring habitats: MERG volunteers work year round to look after bushland on Murdoch's Perth campus

Conservation efforts to help endangered black cockatoos at Murdoch University’s Perth campus will be aided thanks to a State Government grant.

The Murdoch Environmental Restoration Group (MERG) has won a $40,000 Community Action 2017-18 grant from the State Natural Resource Management (NRM) Program, to continue its work to restore and maintain important habitats.

This will include the planting of trees that will eventually be suitable for foraging and roosting. The funding will also assist with the management of weed species and controlling populations of feral bees that compete for nesting holes with black cockatoos.

MERG co-convenor Rebekah Bigaila said Murdoch’s Perth campus features important remnants of cockatoo habitat that were once prolific across the Swan Coastal Plain.

“This includes threatened banksia woodland and tuart ecological communities,” she said.

“Black cockatoos, along with many other species of animal, are now reliant on these very small, fragmented patches of bushland for their survival.

“MERG is dedicated to managing the bushland on the Perth campus to support black cockatoo species like Forest Red Tailed and Carnaby’s.”

MERG is a volunteer group made up of Murdoch students, staff, alumni and community members, which has been carrying out various restoration projects across the University campus since forming in 2007.

Ms Bigalia, who will be graduating from Murdoch with a degree in Asian Studies early next year, said looking after the bushland on campus is a year round job and volunteers are always welcome.

“MERG currently runs planting days, weeding days and other maintenance activities throughout the year and so we are always looking for help from staff, students and members of the community who would like to help.”

To find out more about MERG and it’s activities, follow them on Facebook, or request to join their mailing list at

The State NRM Program is a State Government initiative that provides funding to help protect and conserve WA's environment.

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