Corellas wreaking havoc in WA's South West and Mid West regions


Corellas wreaking havoc in WA's South West and Mid West regions
  1. Corellas wreaking havoc in WA's South West and Mid West regions
    abc.net.au
    A local council in south-west WA is pulling out the big guns to deal with a corella explosion, as previous efforts come up…
    Western Australia
ABC South West WA By Michael Black corellas in a tree Photo: Corellas are creating all sorts of headaches in Western Australia. (Supplied: City of Greater Geraldton)

Destructive flocks of corellas in the South West region of WA are outsmarting traditional attempts by local councils to cull their numbers.

The introduced pests from the eastern states have ripped up rubber sealing from around windows in the city's CBD and destroyed other infrastructure, including expensive copper wiring.

Bunbury's neighbouring councils and cities as far north as Geraldton in WA's mid-west are also grappling with growing corella populations.

City of Bunbury environmental officer Colin Spencer said the council was considering a wide range of options to keep the birds under control.

"We're looking at using pyrotechnics, birds of prey, lasers, anything to scare the birds away from where they're causing problems," he said.

There has been resistance to killing the birds in the past but Mr Spencer said it was far better to control the birds when numbers were down.

Mr Spencer also said populations of eastern long-billed and little corella species have increased dramatically in recent years — from fewer than 10 to more than 1,000 in Bunbury.

"The problem is likely to escalate to the point where it may be too difficult to control numbers in the future," Mr Spencer said.

"I don't think they're in plague proportions but in some areas it could feel that way."

Corella complaints to councils

The Bunbury council has fielded dozens of complaints from residents about the squawking and screeching of corella flocks — as well as hundreds of dollars' damage to their homes.

Rolf Stene paid for two Norfolk Island pines to be planted in Bunbury's Bicentennial Square back in 1986.

This commemorative Norfolk Pine was stripped by a flock of corellas. Photo: Rolf Stene is heartbroken corellas are destroying a Norfolk Island pine, which was planted in his wife's memory. (ABC South West: Michael Black)

One was dedicated to his wife Dorothy who died eight years ago and Mr Stene said he was worried the trees could die after corellas stripped bark off the trunks.

"They're not like the red or white-tailed black cockatoos; these are vandals," Mr Stene said.

"I don't want the tree to die with her."

A widespread problem

A Department of Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman said the birds caused significant damage to public infrastructure.

"They also compete with native species for hollows and food resources," she said.

"Research on the movements of introduced corellas has shown that these birds regularly move between the Perth region and the Bun…