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    12025: Achieving and maintaining area free from Starlings in Western Australia

    Feeding and watering lure birds in a Starling lure cage and trap near Munglinup. Courtesy Department of Agriculture and Food.
    Feeding and watering lure birds in a Starling lure cage and trap near Munglinup. Courtesy Department of Agriculture and Food.

    Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are listed as one of the world's worst invasive alien species, and have been likened to 'cane toads with wings'. They are considered an extreme threat to agriculture, the environment and the community.

    A starling incursion was discovered in 2005 on the south-coast between Condingup and Esperance. Since that time 1109 starlings have been removed from the area with only two found and removed in 2010/11.

    It is unknown if the capture of just two starlings in 2010/11 is a result of being close to eradication or a result of insufficient surveillance. The number of property inspections was approximately 440 in 2010/11, reduced from 3,072 in the previous year and starlings can be difficult to detect at low density.

    The aim of this project is to enhance surveillance by:

    • expanding surveillance by 15 000 square kilometres to check historical sites are still clear of starling infestations
    • increasing the ability of landholders to accurately identify and conduct surveillance of starlings
    • developing and providing predictive modelling to accurately determine if eradication is possible.
    Investment: $ 320 000
    Delivery organisation: South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc.
    Project duration: October 2012 - October 2014
    Location: 150 km coastal strip between Hopetoun and east of Condingup Park on the south coast
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