Narrabundah’s peacocks to be deported

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THE ACT Parks and Conservation Service will relocate a number of feral peacocks in Narrabundah over the coming weeks to a wildlife sanctuary in Darlington Point, NSW.

“There is a dense population of approximately 25 feral peacocks around the Uniting Care Retirement Village in Narrabundah that pose a health and safety risk to residents and passersby,” Stephen Hughes, Biosecurity and Rural Services Senior Manager said today.

“Experienced rangers will remove a number of these peacocks between Tuesday 13 October and Friday 30 October 2015. The birds will then be taken to Altina Wildlife Park, a sanctuary known for their mission to conserve wildlife and the environment, who have agreed to accept up to twenty females and between five and ten males, if population permits.

“The decision to relocate the peacocks was made following numerous complaints from residents about their disturbing and destructive behaviour, specifically for their mating calls in the early hours of the morning, droppings on walking paths and the destruction of gardens.

“The main hazards these birds pose to people are associated with their droppings, including through the spread of disease by incidental hand contact like gardening, as well as slipping hazards. Vehicle collisions caused by motorists attempting to avoid the birds are also a concern.

“This dense population of peacocks poses a threat to native wildlife, such as reptiles, as a predator in addition to competing with native birds for essential habitat in trees.

“The peacocks will be caught using a method designed to cause them minimal stress. Animal welfare officers will be on site to monitor the trapping process and assist in the safe removal of the birds which has been planned in consultation with the RSPCA and the ACT Government vet.

“In 2013 the ACT Parks and Conservation Service successfully relocated eight peacocks to Taronga Western Plain Zoo where they have free range.

“Peacocks are highly adaptable to new environments and we fully expect they will settle well into their new environment, joining the park’s existing peacock population.

“A draft plan of management to address how feral peacock populations will be managed long term is currently being prepared. The Canberra community will be given the opportunity to provide feedback on this plan of management next year,” Mr Hughes concluded.

[Photo by Bernard Spragg.NZ, Public Domain.]

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