Egg oil: A tool for the management of pest bird populations

Few effective tools are available for management of pest populations of introduced or native birds in Australia and New Zealand, though they cause a range of problems in rural and urban areas. The United States Department of Agriculture has demonstrated that the application of various oils to eggs during the nesting season can manage the populations of such invasive species as the Canada goose and the ring-billed gull. Due to high rates of recruitment, targeting the reproduction of pest birds during the breeding season may potentially result in longer term reductions in density and may also overcome animal welfare concerns associated with lethal control of adult birds. We are testing this approach for its value in managing the nuisance population of Australian white ibis (Threskiornis molucca in Sydney. Australian white ibis are native wetland birds of Australia, which prior to 1950 were rarely recorded in the Sydney region. They first started breeding in Sydney during a severe drought in the late 1070s and have adapted extremely well to the urban environment. Their numbers continue to escalate in the Sydney metropolitan region, reaching pest concentrations in several areas. Impacts range from public safety issues relating to injury, disease transmission and fouling, to displacement of other species and considerable tree damage caused by their nesting. Management included trapping in some areas, but is largely concentrated on nest and egg destruction, which is highly labour-intensive and essentially temporary, as the birds rapidly rebuild and lay again.

Author Martin, J. and Dawes, J.
Date 2005-05-02
Year 2005
Secondary title 13th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference
Place published Wellington, NZ
Publisher Landcare Research
Institution Pestat Ltd
Pages 234-234
Region Australia - national
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