Remove spikes for pelican safety

Heather Snook in front of a St Leonards light post without metal spikes that pelicans like to roost on. (Ivan Kemp) 406001_01

By Jena Carr

Pelican activists are calling for removing potentially harmful metal spikes on top of lamp posts in St Leonards and Indented Head.

Residents have raised concerns following the installation of spikes on lamp posts along the towns’ ramps and piers by Bellarine Bayside Coastal Management to deter pelicans from roosting in the area.

Heather Snook said she created a petition calling for the spike’s removal as it disrupted the pelican’s daily routines and posed a physical danger to the birds.

“They’ve left one pole without them, so you’ve got probably ten pelicans all fighting to land on one pole and the others have got metal spikes,” she said.

“St Leonards strives to say that it’s the pelican town, and it’s even erected that beautiful big pelican on the main street, so the spikes are a complete contradiction.

“I was down there last Friday and saw a pelican try to land on it and cut its foot…so they could put up half a dozen poles in the water instead where nobody needs to worry about getting pooped on.

“If they don’t want pelicans on there, somebody could put a covering over the top of it that’s vertical, then the pelicans can’t land on it. It doesn’t need to be spikes.”

Bellarine Bayside chief executive Bruce Elliot said spikes were installed on lights that the birds regularly damaged.

“The droppings of birds, including pelicans, are acidic in nature and we have found that bird droppings have been corroding the lights, resulting in damage to the infrastructure,” he said.

“We share the local community’s love of pelicans, and in our experience, using bird spikes on lights in other areas on the coast has not led to pelicans leaving an area.

“The pelicans’ use of light poles is an opportunistic behaviour rather than being part of their natural roosting or breeding habits.

“We will monitor the local pelicans to determine if this change has any adverse impacts on them…and review the design of the new jetty to ensure there is no harmful impacts to pelicans.”

Visit for more information or to sign Ms Snook’s petition.