A Perth ultra-marathon runner and ecologist will set out to run the iconic 124 kilometre Cape to Cape Track in under 24 hours to raise vital funds for local black cockatoo conservation.
The Cape to Cape Cocky Run will see Rankin Salinas set off from Cape Leeuwin at Augusta on Saturday, April 4, traversing some of WA's most spectacular coastal scenery to arrive at Cape Naturaliste the following day.
The current record for the fastest Cape to Cape Track crossing is 15 hours 54 minutes, set by WA-based athlete Shane Johnstone last year.
A new record would be the icing on the cake for Mr Salinas, but his main aim is to raise funds to support Nature Conservation Margaret River Region's black cockatoo conservation program.
His target is $10,000 and all proceeds go directly to cockatoo conservation.
The Cape to Cape Cocky Run donation page gf.me/u/xifcz8 opened this week giving the community the opportunity to support Rankin's fundraising efforts for this important local cause.
The community is also invited to see Rankin off on his massive run from Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse at 12 noon on Saturday, April 4.
Mr Salinas said he had been training hard for the event, including two training weekends in Margaret River running sections of the Cape to Cape Track.
He said he was motivated to combine his twin passions of running and conservation to really make a difference.
"Through the fundraiser I hope to raise awareness of the three species of black cockatoos in the region and the threats they face," he said.
"As well as raise vital funds for Nature Conservation's Black Cockatoo conservation program and inspire the local community to engage on conservation issues.
"It's an exciting project and we have had a huge range of local sponsors behind us.
"Our target is $10,000 and we hope the local community will get behind us."
Nature Conservation board member Dr Boyd Wykes said the group was honoured to be working with Rankin and his team on this exciting fundraiser.
"The three black cockatoo species for which our region is a stronghold are continuing to decline throughout much of their former range," he said.
"Declining rainfall, increased fire threat and tree decline are the major threats to their survival.
"All three species are now listed as threatened, with action needed on re-establishing and maintaining healthy forest, including trees with nesting hollows and water sources."
Mr Salinas' sponsors for the event already include Cape to Cape Explorer Tours, Surf Point Resort, Upper Hands Design, Open Trails Margaret River, Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre, Boomers Protein, Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association, Birdlife WA, Little Creatures Brewery, and the Friends of the Cape to Cape Track.
Follow the Cape to Cape Cocky Run Facebook Page to keep up to date with Mr Salinas training and support this important fundraiser by visiting facebook.com/cape2capecockyrun.