Little Corella - Biosecurity and Overabundant Native Species Management

Ventia: RAAF Bases – biodiversity & overabundant native species management

Client | Ventia Pty Ltd
Location | RAAF bases Edinburgh, South Australia; Point Cook and East Sale, Victoria, Australia
Service | Biosecurity and Overabundant Native Species Management

Before 2011, the Edinburgh Defence Precinct (EDP) was a roosting hotspot for more than 30,000 little corella (Cacatua sanguinea) during their summer congregation.

In 2011, Avisure assessed previous practices at EDP and implemented an integrated little corella management program at the site. Avisure’s little corella management program consists of monitoring, active management of the flocks, advice on landscape and infrastructure management, and stakeholder consultation. We conduct surveys to determine corella numbers and locations in order to set trigger values and initiate active management. We then use a wide range of dispersal techniques and tools to deter the little corella from foraging and roosting in locations close to Edinburgh base. Data collected throughout the entire program is then analysed and mapped to identify hotspots, trends, program progress and risks.

Since 2011, the number of these corellas has been reduced significantly, to a few hundred scouting birds which are deterred from EDP during the first sighting of the congregation.

Large populations of little corella are known to:

  • pose a serious bird strike to aircraft
  • cause damage to infrastructure, landscape and heritage facilities
  • affect biodiversity by destroying trees and taking up roosting habitat for other native wildlife
  • cause nuisance and damage to neighbourhood properties
  • create loud noises, keeping residents awake
  • damage infrastructures and vehicles through white-wash (faecal) deposits.

The program has reduced the aircraft strike risk from large flocks of little corella infringing RAAF Base Edinburgh air space, and significantly reduced damage to critical Defence infrastructure and landscape at EDP, thereby reducing the financial cost of repairs. The program also achieved recovery of biodiversity—threatened tree species and other wildlife—at, and in the vicinity of, EDP which were directly or indirectly impacted by little corellas.

Before 2015, RAAF East Sale and Point Cook also had similar issues with little corella, although not on the scale of Edinburgh. Avisure also implemented successful integrated management programs in these locations.

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