New Zealand officials are urging Auckland residents more familiar with “Angry Birds” on their mobile phones to try spotting the real thing in the nation’s biggest city.
A number of aggressive red-vented bulbuls are on the loose in the wider Auckland area and the Ministry for Primary Industries is asking the public to help track them down. In a press releaseheadlined “Angry Birds Still at Large in Auckland,” the ministry warns that the species is a threat to native vegetation and birdlife and must be eradicated.
“The red-vented bulbul is aggressive to other birds and is regarded as one of the world’s most invasive bird species,” said Jaap Knegtmans, a response manager at the ministry. “While the bulbuls may appear cute, they’re anything but and urgent action is required to locate and capture them before they establish.”
The birds, originally from China and Pakistan and considered good luck in some Asian communities, may have arrived on a commercial vessel or a recreational yacht from elsewhere in the Pacific, Knegtmans said in an interview. Unobtrusive when alone, in numbers the bulbuls tend to bully other birds and compete with them for food and space, he said.