GAWLER Council is working to help develop a statewide corella management strategy, as it continues to battle the ongoing bird problem locally.
The local council, along with several other councils and a UniSA research group, recently attended a Local Government Association-hosted forum to discuss a statewide approach to combating the pest.
The forum, also attended by the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, follows the release of a UniSA report that proposed several ways of tackling the problem, including scaring the birds away, reducing access to food and water, and eradicating weeds where the birds gather.
It comes after concerned residents and business owners reported large numbers of corellas causing excessive noise and significant damage in local areas, including the Willaston Cemetery, Gawler & District College B-12 and St Brigid’s Catholic School.
In a report to council, Environment and Regulatory Services team leader Jack Darzanos said, while council attempted to disperse corellas using a “non-lethal” bird-scaring program in March and April, the birds have returned in “significant numbers”.
“This program is a non-lethal approach and disrupts the birds from their usual flight and roosting patterns by way of a series of loud noises,” he said.
“Council’s licensed operator has used blank shotgun shells and bird-fright shells, which are fired up into a tree and create a loud sound that scares the birds away.
“The program has had some effect and reduced the number of little corellas that have recently occupied the area and the amount of nuisance and damage that they have caused.
“It appears from recent reports that flocks have returned in significant numbers.
“Council’s contractor will continue to monitor and carry out bird scaring to areas impacted.”
In the past, council has used noise tactics to scare and move little corellas away from trees, but the method has proved unsuccessful, with birds simply moving from one tree to another.
“Little corellas in the Gawler area cause considerable problems, including damaging trees, reserves, ovals and disturbing residents with loud squawking and displacing other wildlife,” Mr Darzanos said.
“A range of non-lethal management strategies have been trialled, with little success.”
Council will now work closely with relevant stakeholders to develop a state corella management plan, focusing on a range of short-term and long-term actions.