Keep a keen eye for colourful pests

31 May, 2012 02:00 AM

THE Department of Agriculture and Food is asking the public to report sightings of declared pest, the rainbow lorikeet, in the Great Southern region.

Department biosecurity officer Graham Blacklock said two rainbow lorikeets had been identified near Katanning.

“We are calling on landholders and residents to notify the department of any rainbow lorikeet sightings and to be extra vigilant in these regional areas,” he said.

Rainbow lorikeets are serious pests affecting horticulture, infrastructure and the environment.

“The birds cause severe damage to fruit crops and compete with native species for food and nest sites,” Mr Blacklock said.

The two birds were believed to be escaped pets. Rainbow lorikeets are declared pests in Western Australia so they must be reported after escape or loss.

Rainbow lorikeets have a purple head, orange beak and breast, purple belly and yellow collar.

“They may be a bold and beautiful bird, but rainbow lorikeets are very destructive and are not native to areas south of the Kimberley,” Mr Blacklock said.

The birds have been destroyed. To report escapees or sightings, call the Pest and Disease Information Service on 1800 084 881.

Further information is available from the department website and search for ‘rainbow lorikeets’.


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