Little Corella Management 2016-17

Council and the community have been dealing with the impacts of Little Corella (Cacatua Sanguinea) throughout the Alexandrina district for well over a decade.

Little Corella have destroyed significant vegetation within Strathalbyn, including the Angas River Corridor and also within the Soldiers Memorial Gardens in the heart of the town. The Norfolk Island Pines have suffered severely due to Little Corella natural behaviour.

Not only do these birds cause significant vegetation damage, other wildlife species within our region are also being impacted, including the displacement of other native bird species, native bees, possums and the like, as the Corella move in and take over the environment forcing other fauna to move onto other ‘safer’ locations.

Further to the impact on our environment, Little Corella have a large impact on the livelihood of residents living within the area. They cause a lot of stress and concern for residents, from the loud screeching noises to the mess they create when stripping back trees. In addition, large flocks of Little Corella defecate around the schools, public spaces and hospitals, causing a potential health risk to the community.

It’s important to recognise that the Little Corella have been impacted by our actions. Changes to the environment, farming practices, grain harvesting and stock feeding techniques have provided ideal conditions which make it easy for the Little Corella to breed.

It is now common for over 10,000 Corellas to be in Strathalbyn at any one time during the warmer months.

What actions has Council taken previously?

Over many years, Council has trialled a variety of methods to control Little Corella, with a primary focus on protecting Council infrastructure and assets. These techniques have included:

  • The use of birds of prey (falcon)
  • The use of a drone for bird-scaring purposes
  • Electronic bird scaring devices
  • Trap and gas culling programs
  • The use of laser lights
  • Revolving lights on vehicles; and
  • Bird frite products

While these techniques have provided some short-term benefits, they have not deterred large flocks of Little Corella from entering the Strathalbyn township each year.

What action is Council taking this season?

This season, Council will be further refining our approach and will trial the use of lethal techniques in conjunction with other scaring techniques.

Commencing in late-November/early-December 2016, lethal shooting will be undertaken within the Soldiers Memorial Gardens in the Strathalbyn CBD area. It is important to note that this is not a culling program to reduce bird numbers.

The aim of this program is to create a ‘fear factor’ for the Little Corella and break their cycle of returning to the Soldiers Memorial Gardens and CBD area within Strathalbyn.

Council has engaged a suitably qualified contractor to undertake this work on our behalf, working alongside Council employees. This technique will be undertaken alongside our regular Bird Frite scaring technique.

 Little Corella are known to be very intelligent and with this type of ‘scaring’ program, we hope that the Corella will learn quickly through use of these techniques that the Soldiers Memorial Gardens and CBD area is an unsafe place to locate themselves and that this fear will prevent the birds from returning. Lethal shooting will be monitored and only undertaken as required to ensure the Little Corella are responding to the technique being employed.

 While these lethal control techniques are being undertaken within the gardens, restrictions will be in place within the Soldiers Memorial Gardens to reduce the risk and exposure to the public.

Loud gun noises will be heard across the township whilst these actions are being undertaken.

For further information regarding the Little Corella Management Program, please contact Alexandrina Council on 8555 7000.

Little Corella Information

Little Corellas (Cactus Sanguinea) are a native Australian bird found in many parts of South Australia.
However with the changing land use, the balance of native species has altered and some are now more abundant than they were in the past. The change in abundance can have many undesirable effects on communities and the environment. The increase in the number of Little Corellas has caused significant concern for some sections of the community.

Useful Information:

Corella Information Booklet

Corella management on Private Land(177 kb)

Corella Management Council Actions Brochure(150 kb)

Managing Impacts of Corellas Ian Temby Report(524 kb)