KVH asks that everyone working in the kiwifruit industry continue to keep a watchful eye and listening ear for the red-vented bulbul.
This small to medium sized bird, native to Pakistan and Southwest China, is known to damage fruit and vegetable crops and aggressively chase off other bird species.
Although a few red-vented bulbuls have been detected in Auckland and the Bay of Plenty, they have fortunately not established in New Zealand. As recently as May of this year, an individual bird was detected and destroyed near kiwifruit orchards in Te Puke.
The red-vented bulbul is about 20cm in length, dark brown/black in colour with a light coloured belly and distinctive crimson-red patch beneath the tail. The head is black with a prominent peaked crest. They have a very distinctive and repetitive call. Click here
for more information and to listen to its call.
Although red-vented bulbuls are established on some Pacific islands, they are not likely to have flown to New Zealand but could possibly have moved via large-sized sea vessels.
Orchardists, post-harvest managers and contractors could hear or see a red-vented bulbul. Kiwifruit orchards are the type of habitat these invasive birds prefer.
If you think you have seen or heard the red-vented bulbul, or any unusual pest or disease, please contact the MPI exotic pest and disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66. You can also inform KVH on 0800 665 825.
Edit: 08/11: A $1000 reward is on offer to Bay of Plenty residents who report sightings of the red-vented bulbul, leading to successful removal.