The sighting of a pet (and declared pest) bird in Bridgetown has prompted a warning from the Department of Agriculture and Food.
Department of Agriculture and Food biosecurity officer Julie Webber said sightings of the pet Indian ringneck parakeet, which is a declared pest in WA, were reported after it escaped from a local property.
“Indian ringneck parakeets pose a threat to agricultural crops, including cereals, oilseeds and horticulture, as well as stored grains,” Ms Webber said.
“This escaped bird has not yet been captured and we encourage community members to keep a look out and report sightings to the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS).”
Pet owners are being reminded to keep birds which pose a risk to agriculture and the environment secure.
Ms Webber said it was vital that owners of declared pest birds were registered and the birds were kept secure.
The keeping of known or potential pest birds in WA is regulated by the Department of Agriculture and Food and the Department of Parks and Wildlife.
“Indian ringneck parakeets can only be held with a permit, which includes conditions to reduce the risk of escape,” Ms Webber said.
“Birds should be maintained in double-door aviaries that are securely fastened to the ground.”
Parks and Wildlife officer Ian Wheeler said Indian ringnecks were also an environmental concern as they competed with native birds for nesting space and food resources.
Other common declared birds that may be kept in WA under permit include the rainbow lorikeet, Alexandrine parrot, sulphur-crested cockatoo and various species of lovebird.
All breeders and sellers of declared birds have an obligation to inform buyers that permits are required to keep restricted birds.
Permits can be obtained from the Parks and Wildlife website dpaw.wa.gov.au or by contacting a local department or Parks and Wildlife office.
Declared birds should never be released into the wild. Unwanted birds can be surrendered to any Parks and Wildlife office.
Any unusual bird seen in the wild should be reported to using DAFWA’s MyPestGuide reporting app or contact the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on 1800 084 881.