Corella sanctuary at Swanport Wetland may keep pest birds away from Sturt Reserve
The Murray Bridge council plans to trial a novel way of keeping a native pest away from the best parts of the city.
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The Swanport Wetland has been chosen as the preferred site for a corella sanctuary which could distract the pest birds from more populated areas of Murray Bridge.
Under the novel approach – a first in South Australia – the city’s council would create a corella paradise south of the Swanport Bridge, somewhere they could nest and breed in comfort.
In return, we humans would have a more comfortable time at Sturt Reserve and other areas where the birds have been known to gather, shrieking, stripping trees and digging up tennis courts.
City assets and infrastructure manager Sue Reynolds said culling the birds was not a workable long-term solution.
“By creating an attractive habitat for little corellas along the riverfront – away from our most vulnerable infrastructure, densely populated and busy areas – we aim to find an effective way to live in harmony with the birds,” she said.
“The large seasonal influx of migrating birds we have seen in recent years has caused significant damage to trees, lighting and other council infrastructure, adversely impacting the lives of residents and other native species in the area.
“While there are many effective ways to deter the birds, not many work effectively on large flocks over a large area for an extended time.”
The idea of creating a sanctuary for pest birds had been proven to work with lorikeets and galahs in the Adelaide Hills, Ms Reynolds said.
The Murray Bridge council has been preparing to try something similar with corellas since 2019 – all it had needed to find was the right location.
Three other sites were considered for the trial: Swanport Reserve, the former SA Water treatment plant site near Long Island, and a swamp at Mobilong.
However, the first two were rejected for being too close to houses, and the Mobilong idea proved unpopular with local landowners.
The only drawbacks at the wetland site would be the risk of an impact on bird life and tree health.
Members of the public have until March 17 to say whether they agree with the Swanport Wetland being chosen for the trial.
Have your say: Fill in the survey at letstalk.murraybridge.sa.gov.au, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to the Rural City of Murray Bridge, PO Box 421, Murray Bridge SA 5253 by 5pm on March 17.
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