Rainbow Lorikeets look pretty, but they are a declared pest in the Perth metropolitan area and a unique trial to reduce their nesting habitat will soon begin in the City of Cockburn.
BirdLife WA surveys between 1998 and 2017 have revealed an increase in lorikeet populations at Bibra Lake and Yangebup Lake, with a simultaneous marked decline in local native parrot species such as the Australian ringneck (Twenty Eight), Western Rosella and Red-capped Parrot (King Parrot).
With BirdLife WA and Beaver Tree Services – the City’s contracted tree maintenance supplier – the program will offer a limited subsidised pruning service for selected Date and Cotton Palms in the front yards of Spearwood and Hamilton Hill properties.
The trial to test the non-lethal control measure has been made possible with a State Natural Resource Management Program (SNRMP) grant to BirdLife WA.
“The program involves trimming the dead leaf bases of selected Date Palms and the dead leaves of Cotton Palms on residents’ properties, which are a favourite nest site for Rainbow Lorikeets,” said BirdLife WA Project Officer Robyn Pickering.
“The introduced lorikeets compete with native parrots for nesting hollows and food, and are known to kill the nestlings of other species.
“The birds were introduced to Perth in the 1960s and an estimated 40,000 now compete with local native parrot species which are on the decline.”
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development estimates Rainbow Lorikeets cause $3m damage to commercial fruit crops annually in the south west of Australia.
City of Cockburn Environment Manager Chris Beaton said the average cost to prune an easily accessible date or cotton palm was $600, but under the trial, the cost per tree on residents’ properties would be only around $200 after the SNRMP grant and subsidy is provided by Beaver Tree Services.
“This unique partnership between the community, the City, BirdLife WA and Beaver Tree Services will mean we can prune up to 22 palms in Spearwood and Hamilton Hill.
“If it’s successful, we hope to make the program available elsewhere in Cockburn, and perhaps eventually it can be adopted by other Perth councils,” Mr Beaton said.
Interested Spearwood and Hamilton Hill residents with Date and Cotton palms in front yards with easy access for large trucks and mulching equipment can email
us to register an expression of interest.
Visit Operation Rainbow Roost
for more information.
KNOW YOUR PARROT
Introduced pest species with a bright red beak, mauve head and belly, green wings, tail and back and an orange/yellow breast. They travel in loud, fast-moving flocks and are found in communal roosts at dusk.
A large parrot, the WA subspecies of the Australian native is known as the Twenty Eight Parrot. It is mostly green, with a red frontal band.
: Only found in the south-west of Western Australia, mainly within 100km of the coast, from Perth to Esperance.
Known as a King Parrot or Hookbill, these bright medium-sized birds have a distinctive long pale bill.
The male is dark green above with a red cap, lime green cheeks and rump, blue-purple breast and red underparts. The female is duller, with a greenish crown and cheeks and pale mauve underparts.
Only found in the south-west of Western Australia, it is the only rosella with yellow cheek patches.
The smallest rosella, it is usually seen in pairs or small parties. This quiet bird has a red or mottled red head, neck and underbody with a red and black or green and black back.
This page - Red-capped Parrot (King Parrot) by Ken Glasson.
Previous page - Rainbow Lorikeet by Frank O'connor.
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