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little corella flock in gum tree

Community and Wellbeing

Little Corellas

Little Corellas or Cacatua sanginea are an Australian native species whose behaviour can have a negative impact from economic, environmental and social perspectives. The diversity of agriculture activity in our council area provides an ideal food source for Little Corellas, combined with the presence of permanent water sources and roosting provide an attractive area for these birds.

Little Corellas have been known to damage electrical cabling, chew new vine shoots, forage in newly sown crops, damage and defoliate trees and damage recreational green spaces. They also produce a large volume of noise when in large flocks, and have the potential to spread disease.

Little Corellas control program

To manage Little Corella activity, we undertake a control program during the month of November to decrease the negative impacts of large flocks. The control program includes:

  • the use of rotating or strobing lights, high powered torches, and starting pistols
  • the use of bird-scaring cartridges and live ammunition in selected and appropriate locations, purely for deterrence
  • working with property owners to limit access to food and water sources.

The program operates in various locations at various times, but primarily at sunrise and sunset. We aim to keep impacts on the community to a minimum.

Property owner control

Private property owners, with the appropriate licences, may destroy Little Corellas by shooting without a permit.

The Department for Environment and Water’s Code of practice for the humane destruction of birds by shooting must be followed at all times. A variety of non-lethal methods can also be use including:

  • the use of loud, sharp noises
  • rotating flashing lights and high powered torches (between sunset and sunrise)
  • the use of physical barriers (eg: bird netting or visual deterrents).

If using gas guns you must also comply with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and Country Fire Service (CFS) guidelines.

It is important to use a multi-faceted approach to ensure that the birds do not become accustomed to one control method and to make sure their access to food sources such as stockpiles of grape marc is restricted.

In South Australia the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 declares Little Corellas to be unprotected.

Some protected bird species such as the Long-Billed Corella, (which is similar in appearance), and the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo often flock with Little Corellas, however, must not be destroyed without a permit.

Protected bird species, such as the Long-Billed Corella, must not be destroyed without a permit.

Report flocks of Little Corellas

Community reports regarding sightings of Little Corella flocks can help to inform our strategy in managing the nuisance effects of their activity. If you would like to report sightings of Little Corella flocks, please fill out the below form.

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Contact information

Full name

Details of sighting

Provide an address or landmark of Little Corella flock sighting

Provide the suburb of Little Corella flock sighting

Number of birds *

Provide an approximate number of Little Corellas sighted

Bird behaviour

What were the Little Corellas doing at the time of sighting?

Provide any other observations you may have made

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