Bird feeding to cease at Grants Picnic Ground in 2020
Friday 15 March, 2019
Conservation best practice leads to decision
Bird feeding at Grants Picnic Ground is set to be discontinued from February 2020 following conservation best practice, National Park guidelines and community feedback.
The site is currently the only place within Parks Victoria managed land that still offers bird feeding and over the years has seen a change from attracting the smaller, more colourful birds to masses of cockatoos and even birds of prey.
Feeding of birds can favour aggressive species and lead to unnatural densities and species composition. This has the potential to alter forest bird communities and disadvantage species which are less aggressive.
Parks Victoria commissioned an independent wildlife consultant to conduct a study on the site, with the report showing that no adverse impacts would be expected from the removal of artificial feeding. Birds readily switch to other sources of food if an artificial supply ceases.
Parks Victoria has a commitment to protect native wildlife and vegetation. A key component of this commitment is educating park visitors on certain behaviours which are uniform across all areas we manage, including not feeding wildlife.
Safety has also been a key driver of the decision with current bird feeding activities contributing a range of safety issues for visitors, nearby residents and the birds themselves. There has been extensive damage reported to several nearby properties in Kallista, including the local primary school.
The removal of the feeding offer will not come into effect until February 2020 in line with the new lease for Grants Kiosk and Tearooms.
Quotes attributable to Dr. Mark Antos, Manager Science and Management Effectiveness, Parks Victoria:
“Bird feeding has had impacts on the natural composition of the bird community and other natural values at the site.
This, coupled with the potential risks posed to bird health as well as visitor safety has led to the decision not to permit wild bird feeding under a new lease.”
Quotes attributable to Victoria Purdue, District Manager, Parks Victoria:
“Parks Victoria sees this as an opportunity for Tour Operators to promote alternative visitor experiences at Grants Picnic Ground including a number of short walks, native bird spotting and the potential repurposing of the existing bird feeding area into a new visitor experience with the new lease of Grants Kiosk and Tearooms.”