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DAMAGING ORCHARDS EXTERMINATION DESIRED Reports from Government officials show that the rosella, a small Australian parakeet, has in recent years increased in number in New Zealand, particularly in the- Waitakere Ranges, Auckland. These parakeets are reported to bo doing damage to orchards and gardens in the district and their extermination is desired. The origin of the rosella in tho Domion is not known, but it is presumed that a pair, or more, either escaped captivity, or were liberated by somebody and have since bred considerably. The birds do an immense amount of damage in Australia by destroying grain and fruit, damaging, many moro apples, pears, peaches, and other fruits than they eat. They also destroy apple blossoms by snipping off the fruit spikes. Some good, however, 'is said to be dono by the rosella eating seeds of weeds, insects, and the larvae of blowflies. "The presence of the parakeet in Auckland," remarked the Hon. Sir Maui Pomare (Acting-Minister of Internal Affairs) to-day, "is apparently a potential danger, and it would perhaps be. sound policy to exterminate the birds before they increase, beyond control. The Auckland Acclimatisation Society has informed me that, in addition to tho damage the rosella is doing to some of the local orchards, the bird in time might displace harmless species of native birds. That would never do. If it is not practicable to destroy the existing colony of rosellas, the birds might be kept from spreading by giving publicity to the fact that they are good eating and may be shot without license at all times of the year." -Sir Maui Pomare added that he sometimes received applications for permission, under the Animals Protection and Game Act, 1921-22, to land the rosella parakeet to be kept in captivity, but in view of the reports from Auck-, land he had issued instructions that no further applications would be granted. "We must," he said, "safeguard our grain-growers,' orchardists, and native birds." ' ■

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ROSELLA PARAKEETS Evening Post, Volume CVI, Issue 27, 4 August 1928

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