Karak, an endangered Southeastern Red-tailed Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii graptogyne), is the official mascot of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. This is great publicity for Karak, as his species is in severe jeopardy, and one of his biggest enemies is the Australian government. With only 700 to 1000 birds left in the wild, their habitat is quickly shrinking. Most feed on Brown Stringybark and Buloke trees in the West Wimmera region, and the Department of Sustainability and Environment approved 94 percent of applications made by farmers to clear Bulokes in favor of agriculture. Only 2 percent of the original Bulokes remain.
There has been an outcry for the government to stop this before the Southeastern Red-tailed Cockatoo is completely wiped out. Projects are underway to help ensure these birds survive. Check out the Red-Tailed Black-Cockatoo website for more information and find out what you can do to help.
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