Corellas destroying Mandurang sports ground

CORELLAS are destroying the Mandurang sports ground and costing the cricket club thousands of dollars, club president Chris Garlick says. 

Mr Garlick said the birds were spotted at the reserve around Christmas and that about 200 birds regularly attacked the site. 

The birds have also been spotted at sportsgrounds in Strathdale and Kennington. 

Cricket club members started firing warning shots at the corellas on Thursday night, and Mr Garlick said if that failed to stop the birds, the club would apply to have them culled. 

“The ground’s just got back to a really good condition after the floods,” he said. 

“If firing the gun doesn’t work over the next week, we’ll be going for a destruction permit.

“It started with about 20 birds before Christmas and it’s increasing every day. 

“They’ve destroyed almost half of the playing surface and they’re digging down between 50 and 70 millimetres deep and it appears they’re searching for onion grass bulbs.” 

Mr Garlick said attempts to move the birds on had so far failed. “They rip out all the grass and the roots die straight away with the heat,” he said. 

“We estimate repair costs at this stage will be between $1500 and $2000.

“Cricket is still able to be played but if it goes on for too long we will have to consider closing the reserve.” 

Mr Garlick said the frequency of the warning shots would increase and that police and nearby residents were notified. 

The Department of Sustainability and Environment manages the ground. 

“If scaring the birds is not effective, as a last resort we would have to apply for a destruction permit to try to save the grounds, save the reserve, save the sportsground,” Mr Garlick said. 

“Hopefully we don’t have to.”

But the City of Greater Bendigo’s manager of parks and natural reserves Simon Harrison said culling the birds was not necessary. 

“It’s cosmetic damage... it doesn’t look good, but there’s no structure damage,” he said. 

“It’s very dry and they’re chasing food.

“Nature should be left to run its course.” 

The DSE could not be reached for comment.

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