Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


John L. Long


Sturnidae, Bird control, Western Australia


Agricultural Economics | Behavior and Ethology | Ornithology | Population Biology

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In Europe and North America huge flocks of starlings cause millions of dollars worth of damage to grain and fruit crops each year and large sums of money are spent trying to control them.

Starlings were introduced into australia in the late 1890s when more than 200 birds were released near Melbourne. They are now well established over much of eastern Australia, ranging from central Queensland, south to Tasmania and along the Great Australian Bight to the South Australian-Western Australian border, occasionally crossing it and sometimes moving as far west as the Esperance region on the south coast.

Some people believe the few starlings that enter the State won't do much harm, but in favourable circumstances these birds can breed into huge hungry flocks. The State's agricultural areas would provide ideal breeding grounds, so the Agricultural Protection Board is determined to control the starlings' migration any further west from the border. Fortunately to known main concentrations are still to the east of this area.

Agricultural Protection Board Officer, J.L. Long, discusses the reasons for keeping starlings out of the State.