Controlling rooks in New Zealand

In New Zealand rooks have an economic and environmental impact. They ruin crops by pulling young plants from the ground to get the seeds, particularly cereals, peas, maize and squash.

A new delivery method developed and registered in New Zealand is to add DRC-1339 to petrolatum (petroleum jelly) and apply to rook nests by specialist operators suspended from helicopters.

This method stops the breeding cycle at its source for that particular nest, whereas in East Africa bait is usually applied on the ground around waste sites.

DRC-1339 is a product manufactured by Orillion, which as a bait is also known as Starlicide, made specifically for controlling crows, starlings and rooks. These bird pests are intelligent, so the bait delivery method and toxin used within the bait is ideal for their behaviour and response to threat.

DRC-1339’s symptoms are delayed (around 24 hours) to ensure the birds don’t associate the sickness with the baits, and the bait effectiveness is also improved through the use of a non-toxic pre-feed. The baits are quickly degraded by UV light and are highly targeted to the crow, rook and starling species.

This unique control method in New Zealand can only be carried out by a licensed operator, so if you sight rooks on your land you need to contact your regional council who is responsible for rook control.