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Fruitful use of bioacoustic alarm stimuli as a deterrent for Crimson Rosellas (Platycercus elegans)
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2011, 00:00 authored by Raoul RibotRaoul Ribot, Mathew BergMathew Berg, Kate BuchananKate Buchanan, Andy BennettAndy Bennett
Birds cause considerable damage to horticultural crops in Australia each year. The playback of species-specific bioacoustic alarm stimuli has been one of the most promising methods suggested to deal with bird-problems. However, no published studies have tested this method on species of parrots, one of the main avian pests of crops in Australia and globally. Furthermore the effectiveness of this method might be reduced if alarm calls were played back that came from a non-local population. The Crimson Rosella species complex (Platycercus elegans), a parrot with considerable acoustic variation throughout its range, is considered a pest species of several commercial fruit crops. This study tested whether alarm calls from Crimson Rosellas were effective in reducing the activity of Rosellas in apple orchards. Three groups of bioacoustic stimuli were compared: control stimuli, local alarm calls and non-local alarm calls. Our results indicate that the playback of alarm calls from Crimson Rosellas is effective in reducing the activity of Rosellas in orchards over the period of study, and we did not find any difference between the use of local and non-local alarm calls. Our study suggests that playback of alarm calls may be an effective deterrent of rosellas over a broad distribution, at least for short- to medium-term use.