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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. 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 the effects of poisons.  The birds are taken to Perth Zoo for triage and initial treatment by specialist veterinary staff.

Sadly, despite receiving the best of veterinary care, some birds do not survive their injuries.  Those that survive their initial treatment will be brought back to Kaarakin, our unique facility in the Perth hills, for intensive care and rehabilitation from 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 cared for in one of our many purpose-built on-site aviaries and may join our 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 Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, 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 be greeted by the wild birds of the area.  Studies (including monitoring of Kaarakin birds using state-of-the-art GPS trackers as part of the Black Cockatoo Conservation Project) have shown that rehabilitated birds form new bonds and go on to enjoy their second chance of a life in the wild.

Some black cockatoos come to us that are not even wild!  From time to time, we may received a surrendered pet bird or escaped former pet, or we may receive a seized pet that has been taken from the wild illegally.

Our Team

Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre is a primarily volunteer-operated organisation, with more than 100 regular volunteers and just four part-time staff members (who also volunteer as well!). All operations are under the supervision and direction of the Kaarakin board.

Louise Hopper is our Clinic Manager and has been with us since the early days of our organisation.  Her knowledge of black cockatoo husbandry is second to none and she often goes above and beyond the call of duty.

Georgia Kerr is our Avian Management Officer.  She 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 also works closely with Rachel Riley of Parrot Life Behaviour and Training to ensure that our birds are in tip-top shape.

Tracy Brownell is our Volunteer Coordinator.  She coordinates the dedicated volunteers as well as our corporate volunteer efforts.

Dave Gardiner is our Education Officer.  He is responsible for liaising with schools and for organising and conducting education incursions and excursions with our dedicated education birds, to ensure that we continue to spread the word about our wild native black cockatoos and their environment.

To contact any of the above, click here.

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