Birds are considered to be pests when they damage infrastructure and crops as well as being a health risk and a social nuisance. Here we detail some case studies where we used trained raptors to disperse populations of pest Long-billed Cacatua tenuirostris and Little Corellas C. sanguinea, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos C. galerita and Silver Gulls Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae in Victoria. We describe the situations where the technique works best and compare it with other methods of managing pest birds. Using raptors to disperse pest birds seems to be a cost-effective management tool only when the target area is small, the period over which damage occurs is limited, and when the damage caused by the pest species is costly.
Urban expansion is a principal process threatening biodiversity globally. It is predicted that over half of the world's population will reside in urban centres by 2010. If we are to conserve biodiversity, a shift in perspective from traditional ecological studies based in natural environments, to studies based in less natural environments is paramount. To effectively conserve species which occur in urban environments, comprehensive analysis is necessary to determine the processes that are driving this urban usage. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology provides a valuable tool for efficient spatial analysis and predictive mapping of species distributions. This study used GIS to analyze current breeding sites for the powerful owl, a vulnerable top order predator in urban Melbourne, Australia. GIS analysis suggests that a number of ecological attributes were influencing powerful owl usage of urban environments. Using these ecological attributes, predictive mapping was undertaken, which identified a number of potential breeding sites for powerful owls within urbanized Melbourne. Urban environments are traditionally perceived as “the wastelands” of natural environments, however, this study demonstrates that they have the potential to support apex predators, an important finding for the management of rare and threatened species.