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


John L. Long


Parrots, Pests

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Small parrots have been attacking fruit and grain crops in the south of Western Australia at least since agriculture expanded into their native habitats in the early 1900s. The parrots are capable of quickly adapting to new situations so it is not surprising that they have eaten crops.

It is not known whether parrot numbers have increased since European settlement began, but this appears likely. The present landscape of islands of uncleared country interspersed with areas of agriculture appears to favour the survival of the red-capped parrot, western rosella and the Port Lincoln parrot. These species were investigated during a study by Agricultural Protection Board officer J.L. Long to assess their impact on agriculture in the south of the State.

The study investigated which species cause damage, how much damage they do and at what cost, why parrots cause damage, when is damage likely to occur, and what will it cost to prevent it?

The research was undertaken at Wickepin, a grain growing area, and at Balingup and Manjimup which are predominatly fruit growing areas. Fruit damage was also assessed in the Mundaring fruit growing area near Perth.