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Surveillance and control of rooks underway

27 Sep 2018

Surveillance and control of rooks underway

rook

Our biosecurity team has started surveillance and control measures over rook populations around the district.

Classified as a pest bird, rooks are capable of causing significant losses to agriculture and cropping industries. Rooks forage over pasture land searching for grass grubs, leaving large pasture areas bared and exposed to weed establishment and wind erosion.

Between September and December rooks form breeding colonies, making it the ideal time to carry out surveillance and control measures. Typical nesting sites are in tall tree tops such as eucalyptus and pine, where they remain until juvenile birds leave the nest around December.

We are monitoring a small population near Te Puia Springs and investigating another sighting at East Cape. Control work is planned to ensure all birds are destroyed over the next two months.

Rooks are black with violet blue glossy sheen and are slightly larger than a magpie. Their noisy “KAAH” calls are usually heard before they are spotted.

It is important rooks are not disturbed by indiscriminate shooting as this will only split the group and disperse them elsewhere, making them more difficult to locate or carry out any effective control.

To assist Council in locating these unwanted pest birds, sightings can be reported to Council’s customer service or directly to our biosecurity officer.

For more information on rooks