An­gry Bird sight­ings drop since re­ward

Central Leader - - NEWS - By MARYKE PENMAN

The num­ber of red­vented bul­bul re­ports has dropped sharply since the an­nounce­ment of a $1000 re­ward, much to the sur­prise of Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion staff.

The bounty was an­nounced last Novem­ber as au­thor­i­ties made des­per­ate at­tempts to erad­i­cate the in­va­sive pest from Auck­land.

As of Oc­to­ber last year up to five red-vented bul­buls, nick­named the An­gry Bird for their ag­gres­sive na­ture, were be­lieved to be liv­ing in the Auck­land re­gion.

The bird is listed as an un­wanted or­gan­ism un­der the Biose­cu­rity Act 1993 and is con­sid­ered to pose a threat to na­tive birds like the kereru, as well as fruit and veg­etable crops.

DOC says the bird most likely ar­rived by sea from South Asia.

‘‘They are kept for fight­ing and bet­ting in In­dia.

‘‘It’s pos­si­ble they could have been kept as com­pan­ions or pets on ships.’’

It is the third time since the 1950s that the bul­bul has wreaked havoc in Auck­land.

DOC biose­cu­rity ranger Art Polka­nov says the team has re­ceived a to­tal of sight­ings.

The red-vented bul­bul is around 20cm long and has a dark head, grey­white belly and a crim­son red patch be­neath its tail.



An­gry birds: Min­is­ter of Con­ser­va­tion Nick Smith with the red-vented bul­bul.

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