Pretty pest: efforts made to track Perth’s rainbow lorikeet numbers


The rainbow lorikeet may look a pretty bird, but experts say they are an aggressive pest. Picture: Maris Lauva
The rainbow lorikeet may look a pretty bird, but experts say they are an aggressive pest. Picture: Maris Lauva

PEOPLE are being encouraged to join in a bird count to track the number of rainbow lorikeets around Perth.

BirdLife WA and the Department of Food and Agriculture WA have launched Operation Rainbow Roost aimed at recording the population of the pretty pest.

The avian organisation estimates more than 40,000 rainbow lorikeets are present from Yanchep to Mandurah and east to Chidlow, a dramatic increase since the 1960s when 10 birds were released.

BirdLife WA chairman Mike Bamford said the birds were aggressive and detrimental to local parrot populations.

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“The red-capped parrot is now almost extinct from a large part of the Perth metropolitan area and it’s likely that the rainbow lorikeets have been a significant contributor to this loss,” he said.

Mr Bamford said the lorikeets also threatened the endangered Carnaby’s black cockatoo, as they displaced the cockatoos from tree hollows where they both nest.

People are encouraged to report sites where the lorikeets roost at night, as well as any sightings outside the metropolitan area.

Visit the Birdlife WA site or call 9383 7749.