Shooters cull disruptive birds

Headshot of Adam Poulsen
Adam PoulsenGeraldton Guardian
A pair of corellas perch in a tree at Geraldton's Bill Sewell Complex.
Camera IconA pair of corellas perch in a tree at Geraldton's Bill Sewell Complex. Credit: Adam Poulsen

Members of a recreational shooting club have culled about 80 corellas at the Walkaway Polocrosse Club in recent weeks.

A Geraldton Sporting Shooters Association spokesman said up to eight shooters at a time had been carrying out weekly culls using shotguns.

“I’m quite confident that with enough shooters — about eight to 10 — we should be getting at least 30 to 50 (weekly),” he said. We’re trying to make inroads to get closer into the city to cull them there as well, because the damage they cause is unbelievable.”

The cull is part of the City of Greater Geraldton’s recently implemented corella management plan, aimed at curbing the damage the birds inflict on city buildings, sports grounds, public infrastructure and trees.

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The City has also enlisted the help of the Geraldton Cemetery Board, Geraldton Tennis Club, Geraldton Golf Club, CBD business owners, and farmers.

“The group is working collectively with farmers to identify locations where the birds gather and to gain access to these sites so they can be culled by members of the Sporting and Shooters Association, who are licensed to operate in this space,” chief executive Ross McKim said.

Corella management group member Warren Kalajzich said the help of landowners was crucial to the plan’s success.

“Culling corellas is a complex problem and now that they are back we need to act and distract them before they settle in for three or four months of destructive behaviour, noise and debris,” he said.

“We need support from the farming community and others to disrupt their breeding program in the hinterlands.”

The cull is part of a multi-pronged approach that includes the continuation of a relocation program, implemented in 2015, which uses firecrackers and percussion cartridges to scare the birds off.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions said corellas were classed as “managed fauna”.

“No one needs a permit to cull them as long as they are causing a disturbance,” she said.

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