Bird man’s plea: fishing lures a danger to pelicans

Craig Lester, of Mandurah, volunteers his time and efforts to save wild birds from tangled fishing lines across Perth. Picture: Matt Jelonek d444660
Bird man’s plea: fishing lures a danger to pelicans
Craig Lester, of Mandurah, volunteers his time and efforts to save wild birds from tangled fishing lines across Perth. Picture: Matt Jelonek d444660

A MANDURAH bird handler has called for fishermen to take more care when casting a line, with a number of large pelicans being hooked on lures.

Native Bird Rescue’s Craig Lester said he had come to the aid of three birds injured at the popular recreation spot Woodman Point in the past few weeks.

One had been pierced by a lure, while two others were tangled in fishing line.

“One pelican a while ago had four large hooks in its neck,” Mr Lester said.

“Usually, when the line becomes hooked, they (fishermen) will just cut the line.”

Mr Lester has spent plenty of time travelling the State to rescue birds, including a number of years with the WA Seabird Rescue.

He says birds with tangled legs or broken wings are common place, and most of the time have to be put down.

“By the time we get to them they’re usually pretty bad,” he said. They can have fishing line around their wings or cuts that have become infected.

“We lose 70 per cent of them.

“That’s why it’s so fulfilling to be able to release it or get it help.”

Mr Lester said summer and the school holidays were busy times, as people take to the water.

“The main things are to cast away from birds and to pick up plastic bags and rubbish,” he said.