News & Media

Broome residents to be on the lookout for pest birds

Released on

Released on:
Friday, 12. July 2013 - 14:00

West Kimberley residents are reminded to report sightings of unusual birds following the discovery of a starling 30km east of Broome.

Department of Agriculture and Food technical officer Roland Nicholls said a member of the local bird watching group had reported a sighting of the pest bird, which had subsequently been removed by a local landholder.

Mr Nicholls said starlings posed a threat to agriculture and the environment, destroying crops, spreading disease and competing with native birds.

A starlings program is underway in the south of the state to prevent the establishment of the birds flying in from South Australia but sightings of the bird in the Kimberley are extremely rare.

Mr Nicholls said it was most likely the bird had flown in from a ship.

“We congratulate Kimberley Birdwatching for informing us of this sighting and we ask residents to continue to be on the lookout for unusual birds which if established, could become significant pests,” he said.

“It is particularly important for those working and living near ports to help protect our native wildlife and agricultural industries from exotic pests by quickly reporting any unusual birds.”

Effective removal can involve extensive surveillance and planning by department officers, who also rely on cooperation from the community.

Starlings are black or grey in colour, about 21 cm long with fine pointed beaks and short tails.

Any sightings of starlings or other unusual birds in the area should be reported to the department's Pest and Disease Information Service on freecall 1800 084 881.

For more information pest birds, visit the department’s website


Media contacts: Jodie Thomson, media liaison     +61 (0)8 9368 3937