Magpie kill order criticised
BIRD experts have criticised a City of Stirling decision to seek destruction of a swooping magpie in Trigg.
The City has applied for a dangerous fauna licence from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to have a magpie killed after it was reported to have injured several children at Clarko Reserve.
Birdlife WA program manager Vicki Stokes labelled the move “extreme” and believed people should avoid the area during the nesting season.
“It’s only for a short period of time and in a concentrated area,” she said.
“If they destroyed that bird, the nest would still be there. You’re not necessarily dealing with the problem long-term.”
She was worried the application would set a precedent but the City believed it was a rare occurrence that was warranted in light of the recent attacks.
Parks and sustainability manager Ian Hunter said 11 signs were erected at Clarko Reserve to warn of swooping magpies in the area and he urged people to take care and avoid areas around nests.
“After assessing events, the City has determined that recent magpie attacks at Clarko Reserve have been ongoing and of a serious nature,” he said.
Naturist Eric McCrum, known as The Birdman, said magpies were territorial, with males actively protecting eggs during nesting.
“Why should you kill a male that’s protecting its territory?” he said. “As soon as the babies are out, the swooping stops.”
Department wildlife officer Emma Lipianin said if the licence was approved, an officer would attend the park on several occasions to observe the magpie’s behaviour, and shoot it if it was deemed dangerous.
“Just because we’re issuing a licence doesn’t give an iron-clad death warrant of the bird,” she said. “We don’t issue them lightly.”
A sign warning of swooping magpies at Clarko Reserve.