Our latest Conservation Program is the Red-vented Cockatoo Conservation Program. The programs’ founder ‘Curry’, our 20-year old male Red-Vented Cockatoo, has been joined by Wally, a 10-year old male who comes to us from Ontario. They have already struck up a somewhat noisy relationship, taking turns to impress each other with robust calls.
We are now working with several other Conservation Centres to arrange for another male and several females to join us in the Program. Red-vented Cockatoos are now listed as an endangered avian specie internationally so we are working with Curry and Wally and others to help secure this species’ future. Here are some facts about Red-Vented Cockatoos.
WILD STATUS: Critically endangered. Until about 1980 the Philippine Cockatoo was a common species found throughout the Philippine Archipelago. Since then, 60-90% decline in population has occurred as a result of destructive human activities.
LIFE SPAN: Up to 60 years.
DISTRIBUTION: Now concentrated mainly on the island of Palawan, with some found on the islands of Tawitawi, Mindanao and Masbate in the Philippines.
SIZE: Length: about 30cm (11-12in), weight: about 300g (10.5oz)
DESCRIPTION: Red-vented Cockatoos are small and white, with a short white recumbent crest. They are easily distinguished by the red feathers around the vent. The undersides of the flight feathers are yellow. The beak is nearly white.
HABITAT: The Red-vented Cockatoo is endemic to the Philippines where small populations exist on the islands of Palawan, Tawitawi, Mindanao and Masbate. It is restricted to lowland primary forest and secondary forest in or adjacent to waterways with mangroves. They are partially nomadic due to seasonally fluctuating food sources. Will even frequent nearby corn and rice fields.
REPRODUCTION: Red-vented Cockatoos will pair during mating season. Often multiple pairs will use the same tree for breeding. Breeding season is typically March to June. Pairs will fly to offshore islands to roost and perhaps breed.
DIET: Red-vented Cockatoo feed on seed and fruits. Food sources fluctuate seasonally.
- The common name is the Philippine Cockatoo.
- Populations have decreased dramatically due to illegal trapping for the cage-bird trade since the 1950s. The high price fetched per bird means that chicks are taken from virtually every accessible nest.
- Loss of habitat and adverse weather have also contributed to its decline. The current population is estimated at less than 4,000 birds.
- The Red-vented Cockatoo makes a characteristic bleating call, as well as screeching or whistling.
- Typically they live in groups during non-mating seasons.
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