In the last 50 years, little corellas have extended their range from the far north east of South Australia into southern agricultural, urban and peri-urban areas and are reportedly staying for longer periods of time.
Little corellas are considered to be an ‘urban adapter’ as they thrive in urban, peri-urban and agricultural landscapes which provide an attractive habitat of permanent water and food such as harvested grain, stock feed and paddock stubble, as well as tall trees for safety.
Little corellas cause damage to crops, vehicles, electrical wiring and wooden structures. Large flocks also defoliate trees and cause a social nuisance.
The University of South Australia carried out a research project in 2017 that explored the little corella issue and proposed a way forward. The report details strategies about modifying urban landscapes to make them less attractive to little corellas, highlighting that it is ineffective to react to urban flocks of little corellas by solely culling birds.
For more information, see the report, Little Corellas: Social and Ecological Research for Management in South Australia and Little Corellas: A Way Forward.
South Australian management actions have traditionally focussed on scaring off little corellas (e.g. using falcons, drones, planes, electric bird deterrents and lights) or localised shooting. These have had some benefits, but have done little to address the issue, instead flocks are often simply moved around the state.
Councils have called on the South Australian Government to take charge of the issue by creating a coordinated, humane and evidence-based statewide approach.
The Department of Environment and Water has co-designed the draft South Australian Little Corella Management Strategy with councils and other government agencies as well as industry stakeholders. The draft strategy is underpinned by decades of research into little corellas and bird management techniques, to strategically and humanely deal with the little corella impacts for the long-term.
The Department for Environment and Water is now seeking feedback from the interested general public on the draft South Australian Little Corella Management Strategy. Please see the overview factsheet.
It is the first time a statewide approach for little corella management has been undertaken and the strategy identifies the initial steps that need to be taken as part of a long-term, collaborative approach to little corella management.