Help our Red-tails

Fence off existing stands of Stringybark and Buloke and scattered paddock trees on your property, to protect from stock damage and to allow for natural regeneration.

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Incentives for nests

Incentive payments are again being offered to landholders and members of the public for the discovery of new nests sites as part of the Red-tail Nest Incentive Scheme.

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Join the count

Although we can’t guarantee you’ll see a Red-tail on the day, we’re sure you’ll enjoy a fun day out in the bush searching for our colourful cockatoos.

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Why can’t we keep our endangered Red-tails?

Photo: David Adam

Current regulations require a specialist permit to keep Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos. This is because of the five sub-species of Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo that occur across Australia, two of these, including our very own South-eastern sub-species, are nationally threatened.

The South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo Recovery Team is often asked by native and exotic bird keepers why South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos (SERTBC) cannot be held, bred or traded in captivity.  

Reasons or arguments for the need to retain a specialist permit for the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo include:

  1. It can be difficult to distinguish between the sub-species; requiring specialist permits makes it more difficult to own/keep/sell sub-species that are threatened.
  2. A specialist permit enables governance around keeping/trading of RTBCs.
  3. Specialist permits create a tighter market as birds are less accessible.
  4. Specialist permits mean that total numbers and trade in SERTBC can be monitored. Limiting the number of specialist permits held for SERTBC reduces/minimises the risk of hybridisation in captivity and the risk of spreading disease from captive to wild populations, through birds escaping (or being released) from aviaries.
  5. The risk of black market trade in this endangered sub-species may be limited if specialist permits continue to restrict keeping and trade to those with the demonstrated passion and responsibility for maintaining appropriate facilities, husbandry and record-keeping – ie. to those who satisfy conditions for obtaining a specialist permit endorsed for one, or more, of the RTBC sub-species.

For more information please contact the Project Coordinator on 1800 262 026 or via email

Redtail News

  • Image Michael Waters

    Promising results from cocky count

    More than 170 volunteers took part in the annual count for the endangered South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo held on Saturday 4 May in stringybark forest across the range of the cockatoo in the South East of South Australia and South West Victoria.

  • Image: Bob McPherson

    Join us for the 2019 Annual Count


    The Recovery Team and BirdLife Australia are again seeking volunteers for the 2019 Annual Count for the South-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo. This year the 2019 Annual Count will be conducted on Saturday 4th May