West Wimmera Shire Council corella cull a success

WEST Wimmera Shire Council’s corella management program has culled more than 700 corellas.

Council spent $80,000 on the program, which aimed to cull corellas in Edenhope, Apsley and Kaniva.

Councillors said corellas were in plague proportions in the shire, and were a threat to endangered species of flora, parks and gardens.

In a report to council on Thursday, West Wimmera animal control officer Adrian Schmidt said the program was a success.

The program included using laser lights and visual deterrents to scare corellas and removing trees in some roosting areas.

The plan also involved shooting with live ammunition to reduce numbers.

“In the first week of November, I started the non-lethal corella program by using bird fright and 12-gauge ammunition every night from 8pm to 9.15pm,” Mr Schmidt said.

“This continued for two weeks and in mid-November I introduced the laser pointer and amber flashing light. 

“This allowed me to startle the corellas later in the evenings – around 9.15pm to 9.30pm – and prevent them from roosting in the towns, without the noise of shooting.

“At that stage I was able to remove nearly all corellas from roosting in towns.” 

Mr Schmidt said he monitored corellas in Apsley, but no live shooting occurred. 

Live shooting began in Edenhope and Kaniva in December and ended in February.

Mr Schmidt said 735 corellas were culled throughout the program. 

“I believe we have had a great result by getting in early before the corellas established in the towns and the mixed approach worked well,” he said.

“Both negative and positive feedback was received.”

Mr Schmidt said he had received a number of verbal complaints throughout the program.

Mayor Ron Hawkins said council was pleased with the result.

“Only about two or three people have made adverse comments about the program. Mainly there has been overwhelming support,” he said.

Cr Hawkins said the plan took about 12 months to develop and implement.

“This time last year we were in diabolical trouble,” he said.

“Then we worked with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries. They gave us some ideas, we financed it and we’ve had a good result.”

Cr Hawkins said council was now calling for submissions from residents about the program.

“After public consultation, we will review the plan, but it seems likely that it will go ahead next year,” he said.

He said the program would be reviewed at the end of April.

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