GRAPHIC: Woman’s plea after horror find in Brisbane park

A distressing image of a butchered baby curlew in Victoria Park has raised calls for better protection for the "beautiful little bird".

A Spring Hill resident walking her dog watched "council contractors mowing the almost-non-existent lawn at breakneck speed on their ride-on mowers" and feared for the tiny bush curlews she knew lived in the park.

"It didn't occur to me that they would operate mowers at such speed and with such disregard that they may harm the Curlews," the resident Kirsten Lovejoy said.

"To my utter distress my concern turned out to be well founded."

"I returned to the park at around 5pm that same day and made a beeline to where I knew the Curlews to have been nesting. I didn't have to look hard to find the body of a little hatchling."

Spring Hill resident Kirsten Lovejoy was devastated to find the butchered baby curlew in Victoria Park last week. Photo. Andrea Macleod
Spring Hill resident Kirsten Lovejoy was devastated to find the butchered baby curlew in Victoria Park last week. Photo. Andrea Macleod

Ms Lovejoy said the discovery of "that beautiful little baby bird was, is, devastating".

"You might note what appear to be slices on its back," Ms Lovejoy told Brisbane City Council in an email about the incident.

Ms Lovejoy’s picture of the stricken bird.
Ms Lovejoy’s picture of the stricken bird.

 

"And while I can't say for sure it was the contractors that were responsible, given the cavalier approach they displayed earlier that day it would be hard to argue they weren't," she said.

 

Victoria Park Spring Hill is a nesting site for bush stone curlews.
Victoria Park Spring Hill is a nesting site for bush stone curlews.

The incident occurred on October 10.

Ms Lovejoy called on Council to ensure "this never happens again" and asked what training contractors underwent to "ensure they protect the native fauna and flora of public parks while maintaining it".

She also asked if there was a mechanism that triggered a "no-mow" response by contractors when grass did not require cutting due to the lack of rainfall.

"Unneccessary mowing increases risk to wildlife and adds to noise and pollution," she said.

The Queensland Government lists the curlew as least concern while just across the border, in New South Wales, the species is listed as endangered and is protected.

The Tweed Shire Council has implemented numerous policies to protect the bush-stone curlews and "assist them to raise their chicks" including protection of nest sites through signage and fencing, habitat restoration programs and where applicable conditions on developments and events to protect bush stone-curlew habitat.

Ms Lovejoy said she had spoken with a Council officer today and was told they were disappointed to hear what had happened and the would be following it up straight away.

The News has contacted Council for a response to questions about training and procedures for caring for wildlife in its parks.