About Kaarakin

We rescue wild black cockatoos in distress – most having been shot, struck by vehicles, fallen, pulled from their nests, or attacked by ravens, cats, or other birds – and rehabilitate them at Kaarakin, our Perth Hills site, before releasing back into the wild.

Who We Are

The Black Cockatoo Preservation Society is a not-for-profit, independent conservation organisation working to conserve black cockatoos through the rehabilitation, revegetation, education, and research.

The Society was incorporated in 2006 by Founding Member, Glenn Dewhurst, and relocated to the current Kaarakin site in 2008, when demand for the Society’s services outgrew Glenn’s home.

Although we are not open to the general public, tour days run twice a year and private guided tours can be arranged for a donation to the centre. Contact us to find out more.

What We Do

We rescue wild black cockatoos in distress – most having been shot, struck by vehicles, fallen from their nest, or attacked by bees, cats or other birds, or suffering effects of poisons – and rehabilitate them at Kaarakin in Perth Hills before releasing back into the wild. Sadly, many of the birds we rescue to do not survive. The ones that do make it through their initial veterinary treatment at Perth Zoo come back to us for intensive care by our dedicated volunteers.

After their treatment, many birds will make a full recovery and can be released back into the wild. Those that recover their health but, due to injury, are unable to return to full fitness are retired to one of our many purpose-built aviaries and may join our breed-for-release, or education program. Candidates for release are placed in our large flight aviary to strengthen their flight muscles – our release aviary is 64 metres long, like a lap pool for recovering cockatoos.

Finally comes the release day. Before release, the birds are given a final once over and declared healthy. In conjunction with the Department of Parks and Wildlife, Kaarakin identifies the area for release and transports the birds to the release site. With a small ceremony, the birds’ cage doors are opened and they fly out to meet wild birds of the area.
Some black cockatoos come to us that are not even wild! Surrendering of pet birds, seizures of illegal pets and wild capture of unusually friendly birds (escaped pets) happens quite frequently.

Our Team

Kaarakin is primarily a volunteer-operated organisation, with more than 100 regular volunteers and just three part-time staff members, all who also do many volunteer hours.. All operations are under direction of the Kaarakin Board and performed by volunteers and the small staff resource.

Louise Hopper manages the Clinic although, thanks to her dedication to the cockatoos, she volunteers many additional hours. Her knowledge of black cockatoo husbandry is second to none and she often goes above and beyond the call of duty Rachel Riley is our Avian Management Officer (part-time) and works very closely with both our black cockatoos and volunteers on all aspects on husbandry, cockatoo movements for rehabilitation, biosecurity and even training for our education birds. She holds a PGDipSc Zoology on top of a BSc Zoology/Ecology from Massey University (New Zealand) and runs her own parrot behaviour and training consultancy in Perth (Parrot Life Behaviour and Training).

Cathie Dewhurst coordinates the dedicated volunteers and manages the outreach, education and corporate, also on a part time basis.

Bill Dewhurst, Kaarakin’s primary caretaker, is on site 7 days and helps run ground operations.

Support Our Cause

Kaarakin relies on sponsorship and donations to stay open. Without your continued support, we would not be able to continue our extensive conservation efforts for the black cockatoo. Every donation and every dollar counts. 100% of your donation helps to conserve cockatoos.

How you can help