Walking around Lake Claremont this week, eyeing the black swans, swamp hens, ducks, stilts and feathered beauties, we paused to watch a group of corellas – white cockatoos – fly in to alight, en masse, on a tree.
The birds were having fun: playfully nipping each other, snuggling and chirping.
Some were playing games and somersaulting, nudging each other off branches and even dangling by their beaks off twigs in moves that would put trapeze acrobats to shame.
Watching these cocky cockies in action is a reminder of how presumptuous it is to assume that we humans are the only animals that know how to have fun.
Too bad we may never see this particular group of gorgeous birds again. Because just metres away, at great expense to the public purse, the birds are being lured with tasty tidbits, then netted and executed.
They’re a pest, the local council has declared. What’s more, they’re “sex-crazed.” Well, that was the headline the Post used this week when it reported that another 2000 corellas have just been culled.
And now the State government has reportedly just spent $50,000 so the mass cull can continue. I know I’d rather $50,000 was spent on planting a few more native trees.
Is it just those of us at Starfish HQ, or are others disturbed by all the talk of culling some of the unique, beautiful creatures that make Australia so special?
Down south, there have been calls to cull kangaroos which PerthNow claims are “causing chaos for gardeners and motorists.” Margaret River shire president Ian Earl calls it the biggest boom in 50 years, creating “a serious road safety issue.”
Could it be so, perhaps, that the roos’ natural environment is being wiped out as its habitat becomes suburbia?
And here in the western suburbs, bird lovers weep as corellas are being systematically put to death.
Councils reportedly began killing thousand of the birds after some people complained they were noisy. How ghastly it must be for them to have woken to hear the sound of birds? May we suggest moving to the Perth central business district, if nature doesn’t hold much appeal?
While it is true that the corellas are not native to WA, and have displaced other native birds, we believe there has to be a humane solution which doesn’t involve the mass slaughter of our feathered friends.
The State Government should think carefully before agreeing to keep funding the mass execution of these birds. Remember the shark cull protests…
And meantime, more bushland in Perth’s western suburbs, helping to sustain the endangered Carnaby’s Cockatoo, is under threat.
A linkage between the world-renowned Kings Park and Bold Park, this bushland is also “critical foraging habitat ” for the Carnaby’s Cockatoo, according to Urban Bushland Council WA.
“Yet the Planning Ministers from both the previous and current government are refusing to protect and enhance all of the bushland on the hospital redevelopment site in Shenton Park.”
They’ve started a petition to remind the Premier there is some support for preserving our suburban bushland. We think it worth signing!
Starfish Photos: Peter Rigby and Jacqui Lang