Special | Australia Wildfires: A NATURE Special Report - Searching for Surviving Glossy Black Cockatoos

Only around 400 of these glossy black cockatoos existed on the Kangaroo Island in Australia before the fires wiped out most of their habitat. We worked with producers on the ground to search for any survivors.

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- Today, you've had some exciting news.

- That's right.

The subspecies of the glossy black cockatoo here in South Australia, there's only 400 of them recorded here on Kangaroo Island.

There's none of them found back on the mainland of South Australia.

But ever since the fires have happened we have no idea how many there are left but I just got a message from the owners of this accommodation lodge where they found 12 glossy cockatoos flying over their property.

(calm atmospheric music) When you're at home listening to what's going on in social media, you can't really put it in your head correctly about how big these fires are.

(calm atmospheric music) - This is quite interesting because this property seems to have been just half hit by fire.

There's a lot of living trees left.

- Yeah that's right.

I just noticed there's still some casuarina trees around here that have plenty of she-aok seeds so there might be a bit of hope yet.

- And this is the right time for them to come.

- Yeah, exactly.

- Look is that it?

There's three of them!

- [Beau] No!

- [Anya] Now there's more of them!

- Can't believe it!

- How happy are you?

(uplifting strings music) There's like a whole flock of them.

One, two, three, four, five, six.

- [Beau] That is unreal.

- Oh my goodness.

[Anya] So you didn't even know that these existed still until today?

- [Beau] That's right.

There's like 20 of them right now.

- I didn't actually expect we would see any.

That's a lot more than 12.

(Beau laughing) So is that the tree?

Is that the tree?

- Yeah, yeah.

You can see them that they're sitting up there right now just having a bit of a feed right now and there's heaps of them.

Look, they're coming from all sorts of directions.

- [Anya] They're beautiful.

(Beau laughing) How amazing?

- Wow.

- You can really see their red underneath.

- Yeah that's right.

(laughs) (groans) After all the stress and depression that's gone through the community, with the loss of wildlife we've been having, this has given me a lot of good hope.

- So it's really good to see that there's lots of these nuts on these trees and lots of trees that are living.

- We'll still probably need more trees though because the fires have pretty much taken out the whole western end of the island and what's left is just this on the eastern side of the island.

I think it's going to take decades for this place to recover.

(calm strings music)