City opts to repeat corella scaring strategy

Jon SolmundsonThe West Australian

The City of Greater Geraldton plans to repeat last year’s successful corella-scaring strategy, firing off noise-making projectiles from a specially designed gun.

Corellas come to town during harvest season to feed on the seed brought in on grain trucks, and to seek sources of water during the hotter months.

However their numbers have increased continually, and their appetite for anything they can rip apart means they cause potentially thousands of dollars worth of damage to public assets.

City chief executive Ken Diehm said, when measured against the firecracker methods the City had used previously to remove corellas from the city, the hand-held launcher — which shoots noise-makers 20m into the air, near where corellas are roosting — showed “staggering results” and offered “more strategic and efficient relocation of the birds”.

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“The corellas in our community have been an issue for some time now and during that time not only have we decreased the plague proportions but we have been able to study their behaviour and strategise a plan to deter them from our public infrastructure,” Mr Diehm said.

“Results from last year’s program show that the birds were moving in an easterly direction away from City infrastructure and assets.”

On top of using the New Zealand- designed noise-makers, City rangers will co-ordinate with one another to target specific problem areas, gradually pushing the corellas out of the city entirely.

Mr Diehm said the City had found a method to successfully control the corella issue in a safe way which posed no threat to wildlife.

The program that we are undertaking to relocate the corellas has proven its success,

Mr Diehm said.

Corella removal operations are expected to continue through the month, with the City focusing on removing birds from the Geraldton, Wonthella, Utakarra, Walkaway and Mullewa areas.

Residents are advised not to be alarmed if they hear loud noises in these area.

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