Deterrence of waterfowl from waterbodies: a critical review

Red Leaf Projects Pty Ltd

  • Project code: PRJ-009194

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Friday, May 30, 2014

  • Project completion date: Monday, June 1, 2015

  • National Priority: CME-Priority 3-Contributing to efficient and secure chicken production systems


A continual challenge for researchers, managers and industry has been the development of effective means of deterring birds from areas where they are problematic (e.g. airports, agriculture, industrial facilities) or at risk (e.g. oil spills, toxic tailings ponds, wind farms).

In the poultry industry, the exposure of wild water birds to domestic birds, or to their feed or water supply, can lead to the emergence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses resulting in high mortalities (up to 100%) in exposed birds. Five outbreaks of HPAI have been recorded in Australian poultry farms since 1976 with the most recent outbreak occurring in Victoria in 2012. Fortunately, all were quickly detected and stamped out. Vigilance and ongoing biosecurity measures remain the order of the day since annual migration of wild birds potentially introduces new strains of avian influenza into Australia every year.

Red Leaf Projects Principal Investigator, Mr Michael Atzeni, will undertake a critical review of the current techniques for deterring birds. This review will provide guidance for the future with specific emphasis on managing our native waterfowl and migratory waders. Expert input will also be provided through our Principal Scientists, Dr Darren Fielder (wetlands, aquatic ecology) and Dr Bruce Thomson (wildlife control including flying fox deterrents).

An online survey of industry and government stakeholder groups will be undertaken as part of this review. The survey will be designed and implemented by Prof Michael Cuthill at the University of Southern Queensland with prior consultation with RIRDC and industry representatives.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

Red Leaf Projects Pty Ltd

Objective Summary

•Review the literature on deterrents and management of birds, focussing on the more practical and cost-effective methods.
•Gather anecdotal and unpublished information, with an emphasis on Australian information.
•Provide direction for future trials into practical, cost-effective controls suited to Australian conditions
•Build on current published and grey literature knowledge including producing a scientific publication from this review.