Gang-gang Cockatoos are approximately 32–36 cm in length, 230–334 g in weight and have a wing length of 20–26 cm. They are a small, stocky cockatoo, which are primarily slate-grey in colour. Adult males are distinguished by their scarlet-coloured head and wispy, filamentous crest that curls forward. The remainder of their plumage is usually mid-grey, with feathers narrowly edged dull-white. Occasionally, male Gang-gang Cockatoos have pale-yellow or dull-orange feathering on their breast or abdomen. Adult females have entirely mid-grey plumage, including on their head. The feathers of adult females are broadly fringed with yelloworange, giving a barred effect. This effect is particularly prominent on the underparts of the bird. The birds’ secondaries, undertail-coverts, tail, and underwing-coverts are variably barred pale grey-yellow. Both sexes have broad wings and short tails. Juveniles are similar in appearance to females; however, their crest is rudimentary, and they appear washed green, particularly on their underparts and upper wing
Gang-gang Cockatoo |
Status: Endangered on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Callocephalon fimbriatum
Threats Gang gang Cockatoos are adversely impacted by a range of threats including habitat loss; wildfire; climate change and competition for suitable nesting hollows.
Current and future climate change is expected to increase wildfire risk through more adverse fire weather; including an expected increase in the number of days of severe fire danger; and a potential lengthening of the fire season over much of the range of the Gang gang Cockatoo (Clarke 2015).
Estimates of the distribution impacted by fire range from 28 to 36 (Legge et al. 2020 Ward et al. 2020 Legge et al. 2021).
Trend stable Inappropriate fire regimes can result in the Extent across the entire direct mortality of individuals; remove Gang range gang Cockatoo nesting sites; reduce the availability of quality foraging sites; and increase individuals vulnerability to other threatening processes (e.g.; predators; or competitors).
The analysis predicted that three generations post fire the population would be 29 lower than the pre fire population size; with recovery constrained by impacts of other underlying threats; as well as the impact of high severity fire on hollow availability (Legge et al. 2021).
Fire frequency and severity have strong implications for tree hollow abundance in montane and subalpine eucalypt forests; with stand level hollow abundance decreasing with more frequent fires (Salmona et al. 2018); hence reducing nest hollow availability for Gang gang Cockatoo.
Furthermore; changes in rainfall patterns may also affect the post fire regeneration ability of important foraging and breeding habitat.
Predation; competition; and disease Competition for nest hollows Status current future The ongoing loss and increasing shortage of with other species Confidence known nest hollows due to factors such as wildfire and land clearance can increase competition Consequence severe for nest hollows with other species; reducing Trend increasing the number of hollows available to Gang gang Extent across part of its Cockatoos.
The risk of a fire extirpating all individuals of the species was considered.
Given the extremely large range of the species; the lack of continuous vegetation cover; the nonuniform nature of fire severity; and the high access to fire fighting resources; the risk of fire impacting this entire area is extremely unlikely.
It is extremely unlikely that a single fire event would extirpate all individuals within one generation (6.9 years) (Cameron et al. 2021).
Estimates of the percentage of the distribution impacted by fire range from 28 to 36 (Legge et al. 2020 Ward et al. 2020 Legge et al. 2021).