15183: Operation Rainbow Roost: identifying Rainbow Lorikeet roosts in Perth

    The Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) is an introduced invasive species that has established in the Perth Metropolitan Area.  Rainbow Lorikeets are a major public and environmental nuisance, posing a major risk to WA community values such as damage to infrastructure, fouling and damage to private and public amenities and the potential to spread bird diseases including Psittacosis, a disease that is caused by bacterial infection.  They are also a major threat to the endemic Red-capped Parrots and Australian Ringnecks as they take over the nesting hollows of both these species which are declining in the metropolitan area.  This  has a flow-on effect to other species including the endangered Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris being displaced by the other parrot species.  Large numbers of Rainbow Lorikeets can also deplete the food source in an area at key times for native species.

    A key feature that supports our community is the ability to report locations of pest birds to relevant authorities using the latest technology so that early intervention can occur. The use of reporting via a phone app is a simple and easy way for the community to develop these skills and report on key species and identify roosting sites across the metropolitan area.

    Investment: $ 21 000
    In-kind contribution: $ 44 095
    Delivery organisation: BirdLife Australia (Western Australia)
    Project duration: April 2016 - May 2017
    Location: Perth Metropolitan Region

    Major project achievements

    • In September 2016 BirdLife Australia released the phone app "Birdata" allowing users to use their phones, tablets or computers to report bird data. This immediately reports to DAFWA any RLs recorded outside of their control line. The RL modifications to the Birdata app were launched in October 2016. Between the launch and the 15 March 2017 a total of 262 Western Australians had entered 2,439 surveys in the Birdata app.
    • 31 roost sites were found and in February 2017 volunteers counted lorikeets at these sites to start assessing the population of RLs in the region. During February 13,527 Lorikeets were counted at the 31 sites. More sites need to be found.
    • BirdLife mapped the current distribution of the species. Breeding data was also extracted from the Birdata database.
    • The Birdata database shows that across Perth the numbers of RLs are rapidly increasing, whereas the number of Red-capped Parrots and Australian Ringneck Parrots are decreasing. In parts of the inner western suburbs the Red-capped Parrot is now absent and Australian Ringneck Parrots are now uncommon.

    Project partners

    Department of Agriculture and Food WA

    WA Local Government Association

    Project contact details

    BirdLife WA

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