Since February councils in Victoria have been battling with corellas, a type of cockatoo not native to Victoria. As recent news articles suggest, the corella problem may now have developed into a corella plague, as many councils across Victoria are still affected by large flocks descending upon streets and parks and causing destruction. This problem is not just confined to rural councils with many flocks causing destruction in Melbourne’s inner eastern suburbs. In fact, rural and metropolitan councils across Australia are dealing with corella plagues.
Corellas feed on the seed pods of liquidambar trees and in their search for food they leave public spaces and private gardens in a state of desolation. In order to maintain the length and condition of their beaks, corellas chew through anything they can find: nets in tennis and netball courts, cabins, windscreen wipers, outdoor furniture, doors and door frames, aerials, wiring and the list goes on. The damage to community assets may be quite severe and potentially leave councils exposed to claims by ratepayers, tenants and community organisations.
Councils have applied creative methods to try and disperse corellas. For example, by using a natural predator such as a falcon, or using drones to scare the birds away. Some councils have considered culling but this is not always supported by the community.
As the corella problem seems to go beyond one council’s resources, councils may want to consider working together to propose joint solutions. An example is the Little Corellas Project by the University of South Australia with the support of the South Australian government and six local councils. This project explored the management issues of corellas in cities and towns in South Australia and, relevantly, the report recommends streamlining the development of corella management plans among local councils.
See the attached link to the full report