Removal of nests from Stingray Point fig tree cruel, illegal

The City should not have removed the nests from this fig tree.
The City should not have removed the nests from this fig tree.

CITY chief executive Mark Newman says that the Department of Parks and Wildlife has given them permission to remove nests from the Stingray Point fig tree at the end of the little black cormorants breeding season (City defends next removal, Coastal Times, May 25).

I have been monitoring these nesting birds and rescuing fallen chicks for many years. For at least the past two seasons, the City of Mandurah has interfered with the nesting birds several weeks into the breeding season.

Last year they fumigated the nests and parent birds left chicks to starve to death in their nests.

This year they started removing nests around six weeks into the season, which meant there would have been chicks and eggs in the nests.

This behaviour by the council is both cruel and illegal. It is a breach of the wildlife conservation Act.

Removing nests from the tree achieves nothing other than ensuring that the birds remain in the tree longer as they have completely to rebuild the nests.

In the past 10 years, I have seen no detrimental effects to the tree from this nesting; in fact the tree never looks better a few weeks after the last of the fledged birds leave the tree.