Corella relocation program halves bird numbers

Pic: Trees that have been stripped of their leaves in the CBD

Pic: Trees that have been stripped of their leaves in the CBD

The City of Greater Geraldton has put out a media release following a reduction in corella numbers throughout Geraldton. 

Everything Geraldton has received a wide variety of comments on the program, from thanks that something has been done, to complaints over the cannons used to scare the birds. This is despite the fact that previous councils simply shot the birds.  

It's worth keeping in mind that the species of corella that are being relocated are not actually native to this region, they are an introduced species. 

The City of Greater Geraldton will introduce a new method to relocate corellas from its CBD. The corellas that the...

Posted by Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) on Thursday, December 10, 2015

Full press release follows

The Corella Relocation Program implemented over the past two years has been deemed a success with substantially fewer birds having returned to the City this summer.

City of Greater Geraldton CEO Ken Diehm said the amount of corellas in the City is estimated at 7500, half of last year’s population.

“Before we began the Corella Relocation Program last year approximately 15,000 birds, which had reached plague proportions, were causing tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to public infrastructure, community assets and privately owned buildings and facilities,” he said.

“They also caused considerable damage to grassed surfaces at sporting clubs and stripped bare a number of trees in the CBD resulting in the trees dying and rate payers having to pay for their costly removal.”

To date, the Corella Relocation Program has used a gas gun, firecrackers and this year trialled a specialised handheld device that has fired more than 1900 percussion cartridges into the sky close to where the birds roost.

“All these methods have worked well to move on the Corellas without causing them harm which was important to the City and the community,” said Mr Diehm.

Geraldton Turf Club Manager David Wrensted said the program has been highly successful in deterring the birds from roosting at the racetrack.

“Before the City implemented the relocation program thousands of Corellas would roost overnight at the racetrack and nearby Geraldton Golf Club, moving them on has meant they have not moved into the CBD and surrounds the next day,” he said. 

“This year the bird numbers have been dramatically reduced with only a few birds returning.

“In our opinion the program has been highly successful and we hope the City continues to implement it.”

The Corella Relocation Program has also proven to be a cost effective way of reducing Corella numbers, saving the community more than $100,000 in repairs to public infrastructure.

“Rangers already on patrol are carrying out the Program and considering the cost of the hand held device and percussion cartridges is only $5000, this program is highly cost effective and is here to stay,” Mr Diehm said.