ANIMAL PEST ALERT: Red-whiskered Bulbul

Ashleigh Coombs - Sunday, September 17, 2017

UPDATE - September 2017

We are coming into breeding season again for the red-whiskered bulbul, and thought it might be good to contact our communities again, asking for them to keep a look out for the bird given they are more vocal and more active at this time. I have largely contacted all those listed in the communications plan of the original project plan from last year.

Are you able to forward the email below to your ‘Friends of’ groups or any other parties/groups that may be relevant? I will send hard copies to the Natural Resource Centres at Black Hill, Woodside, Mount Pleasant and Adelaide Hills.

Hi all

You may recall that red-whiskered bulbuls were detected in South Australia last year. As you know, these south-east Asian birds feed on and damage soft fruit, spread weeds and compete with our native bird species. They are known to be serious pests in many countries throughout the world, and there are established populations in New South Wales and Victoria.

Biosecurity SA enacted an incursion response in mid-2016, and by the end of 2016 the number of wild birds had been substantially reduced. However, as we cannot be sure that no birds continue to persist in the wild, we ask for your assistance again. The breeding season for the red-whiskered bulbul is about to commence. During this time, the birds are more active and more obvious.

The best way to prevent their establishment in South Australia is to act quickly.

I have attached a Pest Alert Fact Sheet that was developed last year – it has the contact details for the Pest Alert Hotline. Unfortunately the link is no longer available, but the footage can now be found at Could you please forward this to your members, post on your notice boards, include in your newsletters, or distribute by whatever means works best within your organisation? If you would like hard copies of the fact sheet, please contact me and I will send some by post.

I thank you in advance for assisting us in keeping this pest bird species out of South Australia.

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Lindell Andrews | Biosecurity Officer, Pest Animals

Division | Primary Industries and Regions SA - PIRSA

Government of South Australia | CSIRO Building 1, Entry 4, Waite Rd Urrbrae

GPO Box 1671 Adelaide SA 5001 | DX 66710

P: +61 8 8429 0831 | M: + 61 438 351 002

I am working on a project for Biosecurity SA (in partnership with AMLR NRM) trying to eradicate feral Red Whiskered Bulbuls (birds) that have been showing up in the hills. Part of this process is community engagement so that the community is aware of the issue and can cooperate with the program by reporting sightings.

They have been sighted in the vicinity of Houghton/Inglewood, Cudlee Creek and Mt Torrens. We would appreciate assistance from groups and members from these areas: Lobethal Bushland Park, Anstey Hill Recreation Park, Charleston Conservation Park, and Cromer Conservation Park.

I have included a link to our web page that has a bunch of information about the pest and our response. I have also attached a pdf version of the flier that we are distributing. It would be great if you could pass on this link and encourage the groups to circulate to their members.


Tom Kloeden| Environmental Consultant | Rural Solutions SA
Primary Industries and Regions SA - PIRSA | Government of South Australia
PO Box 469, Murray Bridge SA 5253

P:1800 084 881 | E:

PIRSA has elevated the removal program for Red-whiskered bulbuls (RWBB) in the Adelaide Hills to an emergency response under the SA Weed and Pest Animal Incursion Plan. Biosecurity SA and Rural Solutions SA are now taking the lead on a detection survey, ground shooting, communications, community engagement and associated project management (see the attached project plan and draft communications action plan for more details).

This change shifts DEWNR’s roles and responsibilities to:
  • NR AMLR engaging with known bird breeders in the Adelaide Hills and neighbouring areas to investigate the possibility of RWBB being kept by breeders/fanciers as the source of the current incursion.
  • DEWNR communicating the legal status of RWBB in SA to bird breeders/fanciers and offering an amnesty for surrender. Seizing birds not voluntarily surrendered.
  • NR AMLR and NR SAMDB assisting with community engagement efforts where required and displaying fact sheets at Natural Resources Centres.
  • DEWNR continuing to support the dissemination of key messages to Friends of Parks groups.
  • NR AMLR continuing to support PIRSA with the development and approval of media releases when required.

Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

Michaela Heinson
A/Manager Land, Marine and Biodiversity
Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges
M 0428 940 725




FYI last week (Feb 2016) PIRSA Biosecurity received confirmation of the presence of 2 Red-whiskered Bulbul birds in Houghton, the first sighting since 1993.

Follows a link to the fact sheet for further information about this pest species…


If you happen to see a Red-whiskered Bulbul, it’s important that your sighting is reported to the National Pest Alert Hotline: 1800 084 881

To help spread the word, please forward this information onto your networks.

Catherine Austin

District Officer – Lower Torrens

Natural Resources Adelaide & Mt Lofty Ranges Region
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources | South Australian Government


P: (08) 8336 0989

M: 0418 810 086

A: 115 Maryvale Road, ATHELSTONE SA 5076


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