A statewide amnesty has been declared to encourage the surrender of any captive Red-whiskered Bulbuls (Pycnonotus jocosus), a high-risk pest bird that poses a threat to local agriculture and biodiversity.
The Red-whiskered Bulbul is a declared pest in South Australia, making it illegal to keep, transport, sell or release the bird.
The amnesty will be in place until Wednesday 31 May. It allows anyone keeping a bulbul to hand it in without penalty.
The amnesty program is being managed by Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges and Biosecurity SA.
Anyone wishing to surrender a bird should call the Alert Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.
Owners of birds will be offered three options at no cost:
• nominate a receiver in another state where keeping Red-Whiskered Bulbuls is legal
• ask for Natural Resources AMLR or Biosecurity SA to nominate someone interstate
• have the bird euthanised.
Surrendered birds will be handled and treated in line with animal welfare guidelines and standards.
The Red-whiskered Bulbul is a declared pest due to its potential impact on fruit industries, with obvious implications if a wild populations were able to establish in areas such as the Adelaide Hills, Barossa, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale and the Riverland.
Over the past two years a small number of bulbuls have been removed following sightings in the Adelaide Hills. The amnesty is a response to the finding of these birds and concern that a small number may be being kept illegally.