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Off With Their Heads: Bounty on Sparrows

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Dead foxes in McLeod Road Carrum 1964. Leader Collection.

In 1893, councillors in the Shire of Moorabbin concerned about the increasing number of sparrows and non native wild life in the area decided to offer bounties for their destruction. One penny was to be paid for each dozen of sparrow heads or eggs and a notice to this effect was to be placed in the Brighton Leader. Of the ten councillors present at the meeting Crs Burgess, Le Page and McSwain opposed this action.

In 1895 the Shire Secretary was directed by the Council to write to the Railway Commissioners urging them to put wire netting around the eaves of station buildings in the Shire to prevent sparrows from building nests there. In the following year the Secretary was writing on behalf of the Council to the Brighton and Oakleigh Councils and to the Caulfield and Dandenong Shires asking them to offer a reward for sparrow eggs.

The Councilís interest in the destruction of sparrows continued but in 1900 councillors agreed that they was not in favour of Parliament passing a Bill for the compulsory destruction of sparrows as another shire was proposing.

References

  • Shire of Moorabbin Minute Books.

Article Cat. Did You Know?
Article Ref. 13

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