Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Farmers Again Asked To Keep Eye Out For Wary, Destructive Farm Pest

Rooks have abandoned nests rung in by landowners for control by Waikato Regional Council.

The council is again asking landowners to report rook sightings for targeted pest control to prevent the wary invasive, big black bird from becoming a problem on farms.

After requesting rook sightings in September this year, right on breeding season, seven rookeries were reported to the council.

Waikato Regional Council biosecurity officer Andrew McConnell says five of those rookeries had since been abandoned, so he was keen to hear if any landowners had seen any newcomers on their property in the last few weeks. The two other rookeries received control.

“The season seems to be a later this year so there is a chance they still may breed.”

Breeding season is a good time to start seeing rooks as it’s when they congregate together.

In the Waikato, rook populations are found in Te Poi/Matamata, Cambridge/Hamilton and Mangakino to Taupō, with rooks generally building nests in pine or eucalyptus trees.

Rooks are one of the most destructive farm production pest birds in the world.

“They feed on newly sown crops and destroy paddocks by tearing them up in search for grubs. A large rook population can completely destroy entire paddocks. It’s definitely not something we want to be seeing here in our region.”

Rooks were introduced to New Zealand in the 1860s to control insect pests. The largest colony found in New Zealand was nearly 1000 nests but, thanks to control, such groupings are a thing of the past.

The regional council has been managing rooks since 2002 and the Waikato population is now estimated at less than 50 birds.

“It’s a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack for them, which is why we need landowners to give us a call when they see rooks” says Mr McConnell.

“They’re also very wary so it’s important that landowners contact us if they see them rather than try get rid of them themselves. We don’t want to scare them; it becomes tricky locating rooks once they have been spooked.”

Last year, five rookeries were found and controlled: three in Mangakino and two in Matamata. A rookery in Hamilton was destroyed by a storm and abandoned.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On How America’s Middle East Allies Are Poisoning The Ground Joe Biden Will Inherit

As even the US mainstream media has been reporting, the prime motive for the murder of Iran’s top nuclear scientist Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (by Israeli or Saudi operatives, or both) has been to poison the situation that the next US president will inherit. At best, there was only an outside chance that the incoming Biden administration and the outgoing liberal regime of Iranian PM Hassan Rouhani could have revived the Iran anti-nuclear deal that Rouhani had negotiated in 2015 with Barack Obama. Deliberately though, America’s allies have now made it impossible for Biden to pursue that option... More>>


Pill Testing: Govt Moves On Drug Checking To Keep Young New Zealanders Safer This Summer

The Government will pass time limited legislation to give legal certainty to drug checking services, so they can carry out their work to keep New Zealanders safer this summer at festivals without fear of prosecution, Health Minister Andrew Little ... More>>


WorkSafe: 13 Parties Charged Over Whakaari/White Island Tragedy

WorkSafe New Zealand today filed charges against 13 parties in relation to the Whakaari/White Island eruption in December last year. “22 people have lost their lives in this tragic event. WorkSafe is tasked with investigating workplace incidents to determine ... More>>


Pay Gap: Progress On Pay Equity For DHB Staff

Today’s initial agreement between DHBs and the PSA on pay equity for clerical and administration staff is an important step toward better, fairer pay for this crucial and largely female workforce, Health Minister Andrew Little says. More>>


Media: Stuff Holds Itself Accountable For Wrongs To Māori

Stuff has today published the results of an investigation into itself, and issued a public apology, for the way the media organisation has portrayed Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, from its first editions to now. Tā Mātou Pono | More>>


New Zealand Government: To Declare A Climate Emergency

The Government will declare a climate emergency next week, Climate Change Minister James Shaw said today. “We are in the midst of a climate crisis that will impact on nearly every aspect of our lives and the type of planet our children will inherit ... More>>


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels