With fewer than 1,000 South-Eastern Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos in the wild, the Games has extended a lifeline to the species by adopting it as the mascot ‘Karak’.
Paul Burgess, Kyle Vander Kuyp and Karak show off a four-week-old South-Eastern Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo.
As a result of the growing awareness of the species’ decreasing numbers, government and private industries have offered funds and resources to create a breeding programme to save the cockatoo.
Mr Justin Madden, Minister for the Commonwealth Games, has announced that the Victorian Government will add a new tree planting site 10km outside Casterton in South-West Victoria - the natural habitat for Karak - which will create an ideal environment for breeding.
As well as ensuring that Karak will be remembered for its contribution to the Games, the new plantation will absorb greenhouse emissions and extend the Commonwealth Games Environment Programme.
As the Queen's baton relay passed through Casterton, Federal Environment Minister Ian Campbell announced that the government has also committed $1.3 million to a rescue plan for the South-Eastern Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos.
Karak’s Photo Gallery
Karak the Mascot has been a busy bird over the years leading up to the Games. Follow some of his adventures in Karak's Photo Gallery.