Minimise pest bird damage
From the December 2007 edition of Agriculture Today.
Horticulturalists can use a new resource to help minimise pest bird damage, estimated to cause losses in grapes, pome fruit, stone fruit and nuts, totalling at least $300 million across Australia each year.
A new publication, Managing Bird Damage to Fruit and other Horticultural Crops, was produced by the Bureau of Rural Sciences and supported by the Invasive Animal Co-operative Research Centre and Horticulture Australia.
Lead author, NSW Department of Primary Industries scientist, John Tracey, says the book offers practical solutions to help farmers to control birds.
"Our view is that bird damage to horticulture is becoming increasingly significant with more than 60 species known to cause major impact," he said.
These species possess marked differences in feeding strategies and movement patterns which influence the nature, timing and severity of the damage they cause.
"While bird damage is unpredictable, it can have a dramatic impact on individual growers in certain years, sometimes resulting in complete crop loss," Mr Tracey said.
"Compounding this problem is the lack of well-tested, costeffective ways to reduce impact."
Mr Tracey said the 255-page book provides a comprehensive assessment of the problem, current best practice approaches, options for management and the how to reduce damage in future.
- Improving predictions of bird movements.
- Using simple techniques to estimate potential losses.
- Taking active steps to reduce damage.
- Having growers, industry and government work together.
Fact sheets containing information about different pest birds, and how to manage them, are included.
The consultative process undertaken for the book has been extensive with support provided by NSW Department of Primary Industries, SA Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation, the Invasive Animals Co-operative Research Centre, Horticulture Australia Ltd, the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation and the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre.
The book is available from the Bureau of Rural Sciences and can be downloaded from their online bookshop at http://affashop.gov.au/product.asp?prodid=13796
Contact John Tracey, Orange, (02) 6391 3952, firstname.lastname@example.org