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Volunteers join annual count for Games Mascot ‘Karak’

01 May 05 02:17
Karak joins volunteers in the count.Karak, the official Mascot for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, today joined over 100 volunteers across south-west Victoria and south-east South Australia to participate in the annual count for the endangered South-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo.

There are less than 1,000 South-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoos remaining.

Last year 86 volunteers counted 736 South-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoos in the region. Volunteers travelled through more than 2,200kms of stringybark forest on both private and public land to find the endangered species.

Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo Recovery Team Extension Officer, Tania Rajic, said the birds feed on the seeds of buloke and stringybark trees. Clearing and lack of regeneration of these feed trees is the biggest threat to these spectacular birds. An annual count of the number of Cockatoos has been undertaken since 1996 to help monitor the bird’s population.

“We have excellent support from volunteers, many participating in the count each year. Landholders conduct searches of their properties while others spend time in conservation reserves or stringybark forest areas. Volunteers drive through their allocated stringybark area, stopping to listen for the Cockatoo’s distinctive ‘Karak’ call. Feedback is always good and even if the birds aren’t seen, everyone enjoys spending time in the bush,” Ms Rajic said.

The Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee and the Office of Commonwealth Games Coordination are committed to raising the profile of the Games Mascot Karak and to help promote the protection of the species’ future habitat.

The Minister for the Commonwealth Games, Mr Justin Madden, also announced today the Government has added a new tree-planting site, 10km out of Casterton, to the Commonwealth Games Environment Program. These trees will have the dual purpose of soaking up greenhouse gas emissions and providing future habitat and food for the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo.

“These trees will be one of many enduring benefits of the Commonwealth Games. Protected by long term management agreements, they will provide generations of ‘Karak’ with food while also helping to deliver the first carbon-neutral Games in history,” Mr Madden said.

Karak junior at Healesville Sanctuary“Anybody who wants to help give the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo a home is encouraged to come along to Casterton and plant a tree.”

Karak Junior, the younger cousin of Karak and the first South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo successfully bred in more than a decade, was born at Victoria’s Healesville Sanctuary on 26 March 2004. Coincidentally, Karak Junior’s birthday is the same day as the Closing Ceremony of the Melbourne 2006 Games.

In a world-first, the DNA of the little cousin of Karak, the Official Mascot of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, will be used to authenticate all Games licensed merchandise.

Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Chairman, Mr Ronald J Walker, said licensed merchandise would be protected by anti-counterfeit stickers produced by Brand Integrity International – an official licensee of Melbourne 2006 - utilising DNA technology.

“Karak Junior’s DNA is all that is needed to protect the many thousands of products that have been manufactured by Official Licensees,” Mr Walker said.

“DNA is almost impossible to decode, so consumers will be able to trust that their purchase of official merchandise is authentic, and that it will support the staging of the Melbourne 2006 Games and the Australian Commonwealth Games team.”

The DNA protection is applied to merchandise on two levels. The first is the use of a special signal embedded in an ink or dye that can be instantly verified by a small hand held electronic scanner. An individual code is also applied to ensure every tag is unique and can be easily verified for authenticity.

The Games will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness 4,500 elite athletes from 71 nations take part in the XVIII Commonwealth Games to be held from 15-26 March 2006.

Visit the Karak section of this site for more information on the Games Mascot and the South-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo.

Visit the Environment Program page for more information on how Melbourne 2006 is the environmentally friendly Games.

External link

The Age (subscription required): Drought threat to Red-tailed cockatoos
30 May 2005

ABC South East SA: On the trail of the Commonwealth Games' elusive mascot
4 May 2005

M2006 is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
This Website is closed and for reference purposes only. To guarantee the stability of Games data, all external links are being removed.

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