Corellas to be lured away from Sturt Reserve to 'sacrificial sites' at Mobilong, Monteith

A corella. Photo: File.
A corella. Photo: File.

The Murray Bridge council will attempt to lure corellas away from Sturt Reserve by creating the perfect habitat for them just outside the city.

The plan to establish two "sacrificial sites" was approved by councillors last month.

One will be located at Mobilong, on swamp flats five kilometres upstream, across the river from the Riverglades wetland.

The other would be located at Monteith, on another swamp site formerly used for irrigation.

Development of the "corella sanctuaries" will be contingent on SA Water, which owns the Mobilong site, and the Department of Environment and Water (DEW) granting their approval.

In addition to the pull factor, the council will try to push corellas out of Sturt Reserve by planting an understorey of shorter trees there as its redevelopment continues over the next decade.

Corellas tend to prefer open spaces, such as the grassed areas at the reserve, the Murray Bridge Lawn Tennis Association's nearby courts or the Murraylands Aquatic Centre's lawns at Swanport.

The strategy was developed by a local working party made up of representatives of the council, tennis association, aquatic centre, DEW and the Murray Bridge Golf Club.

A statewide strategy is also in development.

Corellas' presence in Murray Bridge has been less noticeable over the past two years, as their incursions have been limited to the summer months and their flocks have numbered fewer than 1000 birds, the council's city assets manager said in a report last month.

But they could still cause "extensive" damage, and were expected to do so in future unless action were taken, he said.

Rural landowners are entitled to shoot corellas without a permit, provided they minimise the birds' suffering in accordance with animal cruelty laws.

However, accreditation is needed to cull corellas by any other means, and firearms cannot be used inside town limits.