Bird researcher Gill Ainsworth has won The Nature Conservancy’s prestigious 2011 Applied Conservation Award to further her work into understanding more about the endangered Baudin’s and Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos.
Dr. James Fitzsimons, The Nature Conservancy’s Director of Conservation, said today the $6,000 award would help to solve a conservation mystery.
“Despite both species being considered nationally threatened, Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo currently receives considerably more conservation attention and funding," he said. “This research will help us understand why this is and the findings will contribute to designing more effective conservation strategies.”
Dr. Fitzsimons said it was crucial for research to focus on how humans use and value wildlife and habitats. “The populations of these cockatoos are at critically low levels, with both suffering habitat loss and Baudin’s are sometimes persecuted for eating fruit.
“Carnaby’s is known by more people because it visits Perth, and Baudin’s can cause economic harm,” he added.
Ms. Ainsworth, a PhD candidate with Charles Darwin University, will use the award to travel to southwest Western Australia and conduct interviews with scientists, policy makers, land managers, developers and conservation groups.
Baudin’s and Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos are listed respectively as vulnerable and endangered under the national Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and listed as "rare or likely to become extinct" under Western Australia’s Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.
The Nature Conservancy’s Applied Conservation Award is made possible thanks to a generous donation from The Thomas Foundation. The award, now in its fourth year, is presented jointly by The Nature Conservancy and the Ecological Society of Australia to fund a postgraduate scholarship in the field of applied conservation science.
About The Nature Conservancy in Australia
One of the world’s largest science-based conservation organisations, The Nature Conservancy delivers large-scale conservation projects across Australia. The NGO is currently influencing conservation over nearly 30 million hectares of Indigenous lands across northern Australia’s vast savannas from the Kimberley to Cape York and Central Australia’s arid lands. The Nature Conservancy is working with Indigenous groups and other key partners and has helped to protect more than 6 million hectares of lands and waters in Australia since 2000. This includes securing 29 high priority additions to the National Reserve System, including some of the largest private protected areas in Australia.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
Dr. James Fitzsimons
Director of Conservation (Australia Program)
(03) 8346 8604