Rooks

(Corvus frugilegus)

Progressive Control Pest

Rooks are large, black birds with a violet-blue, glossy sheen. Nests are generally built in large trees, such as pine, eucalyptus, poplar and walnut trees. Where these are established, rookeries can rapidly build up in numbers to several hundred birds.

Reasons for the Strategy

A rook, a large black bird, sitting on a stump.

Large flocks of Rooks can cause serious damage to agricultural crops, including cereals, nuts, fruit and vegetables. They also cause physical damage to pasture while foraging for invertebrates.

Rooks are assessed at “1” on the infestation curve. There are intermittent sightings of birds around Eighty-Eight Valley, St Arnaud and Golden Bay. Uncontrolled shooting at Rooks can make the birds much more difficult to locate and destroy. This makes Council intervention essential. The low incidence of Rooks in the Tasman-Nelson region, extensive areas of suitable habitat, and the potential for them to cause significant adverse effects, mean the benefits of progressive control far outweigh the costs. The Management Agency will undertake control of Rooks, given the challenges of controlling them. Therefore, no Strategy rule requiring occupier control is needed.

Objective

To follow up all Rook sightings and implement appropriate controls to prevent any rookeries being established in the Tasman-Nelson region during the term of the Strategy.

Alternative Measures

The alternative option of “do nothing” or relying on voluntary control will not achieve the objective of eradication, and will result in significant additional costs to the community with respect to lost production and the increased cost of control in the future.

Strategy Rule for Rooks

The Management Agency will undertake the control of Rooks to prevent the establishment of rookeries.

Biosecurity Act Requirement

No person shall knowingly sell, propagate, breed, release, or commercially display Rooks, under Sections 52 and 53 of the Act.