Ag­gro mag­pie spared

Stirling Times - - Front Page - Laura Pond

A MAG­PIE be­lieved dan­ger­ous by the City of Stir­ling has es­caped a death sen­tence.

The Depart­ment of Bio­di­ver­sity, Con­ser­va­tion and At­trac­tions de­clined to de­stroy a swoop­ing mag­pie that at­tacked sev­eral chil­dren at Clarko Re­serve in Trigg late last month.

The City ap­plied to the depart­ment for a dan­ger­ous fauna li­cence to have the bird killed after the at­tacks, which it deemed “on­go­ing and of a se­ri­ous na­ture”.

Wildlife of­fi­cers as­sessed the mag­pie’s be­hav­iour over the past two weeks and found the fre­quency of swoop­ing had “sig­nif­i­cantly de­clined”.

Warn­ing signs were in place around the park and the area near the bird’s nest was cor­doned off.

Stir­ling Mayor Mark Ir­win said the de­ci­sion not to is­sue the li­cence was a good re­sult.

“We are very pleased with the out­come and I be­lieve the wider com­mu­nity will be too,” he said.

“We place the ut­most im­por­tance on the health and safety of our res­i­dents, ratepay­ers and vis­i­tors, and we would like to take this op­por­tu­nity to re­mind the com­mu­nity that it is still nest­ing sea­son for mag­pies and it is re­ally im­por­tant that park users con­tinue to take care in or avoid ar­eas where nest­ing is tak­ing place.”

Bird ex­perts had crit­i­cised the City for seek­ing the li­cence, with Bird Life WA pro­gram man­ager Vicki Stokes be­liev­ing it was an ex­treme move for some­thing that oc­curred for only a short pe­riod and in a con­cen­trated area.

A City spokes­woman en­cour­aged peo­ple to pro­tect them­selves from swoop­ing mag­pies by avoid­ing mag­pie nest­ing sites, trav­el­ling in groups and wear­ing sun­glasses, a wide brimmed hat or car­ry­ing an um­brella.

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