Last week I received the distressing news that city cockatoos are once again in the sites of shooters wanting to remove them for human convenience, with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) considering issuing yet another culling licence (for background on the issue see my previous post from August last year)
On the hit list this time is a flock of eight sulphur crested cockatoos in Potts Point who are, as usual, being accused of damaging buildings. While the NPWS officers I’ve spoken to don’t seem keen to issue the licence the law isn’t as stringent as it could be in requiring alternative solutions be found.
As such there has been a complete overlooking of one of the most effective methods of preventing bird damage – shock track. Shock track is strips of tape that carry non-lethal electric shocks to birds that land where they aren’t wanted. It is commercially available and the City has already put such technology to great use repelling birds from areas where excessive amounts of droppings were causing a problem. The strips can be set up to run on solar power, meaning that their environmental and economic cost is minimal.
I’ve written to the local NPWS officers urging them to trial solutions such as this before granting a culling licence and will be doing all I can to hold the government to account should they choose to sacrifice our native wildlife instead.
As a side note – the only reason I was informed of this is because Council moved a motion I presented last year specifically asking NPWS to let them know about such things after the last cockatoo cull. It’s worrying to think how many of these culls may have been approved in other areas without anyone having known.
Image by Oystercatcher, use authorised under creative commons.