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Common name: Magpies
Botanical name: Gymnorhina species
Management programme: Advisory

Where are they originally from?

Magpies were introduced from Australia in the 1860s to control pastoral insect pests.

Why are they a pest?

  • Known to harass and sometimes kill a variety of native and introduced birds, they also eat insects and lizards.
  • Can be very aggressive during the breeding season, defending their territory and attach animals and humans.

Where are they found?

Magpies live throughout urban and rural areas. They prefer open grassland, cultivated paddocks, city parks and playing fields, and the edges of native and exotic forests.

What do they look like?

  • Black and white in colour, body length is 36-44cm.
  • Distinctive fast flying style.
  • Distinctive ‘flute-like’ call usually heard early morning or in the evening.

What are the rules?


Council does not enforce the control of advisory species. It is landowner/occupier responsibility to manage these pests. Council may provide advice on how to manage or control advisory species if required.

How do you get rid of them?

  • Shooting.
  • Trapping.
  • Alphachloralose Narcotic.

CAUTION: When using Alphachloralose please READ THE LABEL thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed. All firearms laws MUST be adhered to when using firearms. When using traps please ensure that all instructions, safety requirements and laws (in particular the Animal Welfare Act 1999) are followed.

NAWAC (National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee) approved kill traps need to be set as per the manufacturers guidelines. 

Guidelines on trap use

DISCLAIMER: Information in this fact sheet regarding Alphachloralose does not necessarily appear on the labels of the products concerned. Bay of Plenty Regional Council does not accept liability for any damage that may arise from the use of Alphachloralose at non-standard rates. Mention of product trade names implies neither endorsement of those products nor criticism of similar products not mentioned. Bay of Plenty Regional Council does not accept liability for any damage or injury that may arise from the use of traps, toxins and firearms.

Image credit: Environment Southland