Rooks (RPMP 2018)
Rooks are subject to an Exclusion programme as part of the Regional Pest Management Plan 2018. There are not known to be established in Marlborough and the long term goal is to ensure that establishment does not happen.
History of the Rook in New Zealand
Rooks were introduced into New Zealand in the late 1800's. Hawkes Bay, Canterbury, Nelson and Auckland were areas that Rooks were liberated but only Hawkes Bay and Canterbury populations flourished and spread. Marlborough has had a couple of birds sighted over the years in the Upper Wairau and South Marlborough. The last small population of Rooks was eradicated in the Wharanui area in 2010.
Why are Rooks considered pests?
Rooks are generally insect eaters, however are more than happy foraging on vegetation, particularly on young cereal and vegetable crops. One or two Rooks will cause few issues, however, Rooks form large group sizes quickly and then they cause significant damage to crops and can increase erosion risk by pulling up grasses to obtain insects. Rooks also travel large distances for food and juveniles will investigate new areas to occupy, so they have potential to cover a large area and establish in new areas.
Because of the potential of Rooks to cause damage and we currently have no known populations; Council looks to eradicate Rooks from the region and ensure that they do not establish again.