Swooping magpie escapes death sentence from City of Stirling

The City of Stirling has decided to take no action against a magpie at Clarko Reserve.
The City of Stirling has decided to take no action against a magpie at Clarko Reserve.

EXCLUSIVE

A MAGPIE believed dangerous by the City of Stirling has escaped a death sentence.

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions declined to destroy a swooping magpie that attacked several children at Clarko Reserve in Trigg late last month.

The City applied to the department for a dangerous fauna licence to have the bird killed after the attacks, which it deemed “ongoing and of a serious nature”.

Wildlife officers assessed the magpie’s behaviour over the past two weeks and found the frequency of swooping had “significantly declined”.

Warning signs were in place around the park and the area near the bird’s nest was cordoned off.

Stirling Mayor Mark Irwin said the decision not to issue the licence was a good result.

“We are very pleased with the outcome and I believe the wider community will be too,” he said.

“We place the utmost importance on the health and safety of our residents, ratepayers and visitors, and we would like to take this opportunity to remind the community that it is still nesting season for magpies and it is really important that park users continue to take care in or avoid areas where nesting is taking place.”

Bird experts had criticised the City for seeking the licence, with BirdLife WA program manager Vicki Stokes believing it was an extreme move for something that occurred for only a short period and in a concentrated area.

A City spokeswoman encouraged people to protect themselves from swooping magpies by avoiding magpie nesting sites, travelling in groups and wearing sunglasses, a wide brimmed hat or carrying an umbrella.