Bird damage is a significant problem for many horticulturists in Australia with over 60 bird species known to cause damage to horticultural crops. These species possess marked differences in feeding strategies, breeding behaviour and movement patterns. There is high variability in, and uncertainty about, bird movements and
subsequent damage levels between and within seasons.
Horticulturists are also faced with increasing social, environmental and legal issues that further restrict the techniques that can be used to reduce bird impacts. Of the techniques that are available, few have been subjected to rigorous scientific assessment, and management solutions are seldom suited to all bird species, crops and situations. As a result, the management of pest birds is one of the most difficult and challenging tasks facing horticulturists.
Despite these concerns, many industry and government organisations have been reluctant to invest in research to reduce the damage caused by birds. This may be partly due to a lack of information on the severity and distribution of the problem.
As indicated by the priority issues identified in this review, effective management of pest birds requires: improved ability to predict patterns of bird movement and damage; the development of simple techniques for estimating the extent and severity of damage; adoption of strategic management using improved damage reduction techniques; reconciliation of legislation and responsibilities; and increased cooperation, collaboration and commitment from industry and government. Whilst the focus of this review is pest bird impacts on horticulture, most of the issues are of relevance to pest bird management in general.
|Author||J Tracey, M Bomford, Q Hart, G Saunders, R Sinclair|
|Department||Bureau of Rural Sciences|
|Region||Australia - national|