Karak drinking from a pool with reflection
Image by Keith Lightbody

Karak

Forest Red-Tail Black Cockatoo
Calyptorhynchus banksii naso

Conservation Status: vulnerable

There are less than 25,000 Karak left.

Listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN and Birdlife International.
Listed as Vulnerable, Schedule 1 under the WA Wildlife Conservation Act
Listed as Vulnerable under Federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Call
The Karak has a loud call like a rusty gate with variations on the sound ‘Karak.’
Niche
They pollinate flowers, spread seeds and eat insect pest larvae. The Karak is a messy eater and provides food for ground-dwelling species.
Main Threats
Loss, fragmentation and degradation of their forest and woodland habitat due to logging, mining, clearing and fire. Karak require large trees with hollows for breeding.
Lifespan
25 to 50 years
Size
Up to 55cm long and weighing up to 610g.

Colour
Male has a blackish body with brown or greenish undertones, a red tail and dark beak. Female and juveniles are blackish with yellow spots on the head, yellow striations on the chest and the red-orange tail has black striations. The beak is whitish grey.
Distribution
Endemic to the South West of WA, favouring the hilly forest areas north to Gingin and east to Green Range. Only 10 percent of their habitat is left.
Food
Karak will eat larvae, flowers, nectar and mostly seeds. They favour Marri tree nuts and various Eucalyptus species, as well as Sheoak and Snotty gobble. They have adapted to eating some introduced species, particularly Cape lilac.
Breeding
Monogamous pairs breed March to December in hollows of Marri and other Eucalypts including Jarrah, Wandoo, Karri, and Bullich. Usually just 1 chick every second year.