Crow killings raise concern

A dead crow found in the park on the corner of Alice and Smartt roads, close to AG Visser Street, Goodwood, where a resident claims crows are being killed.

There could be a crow killer on the loose, according to a Facebook post on the Goodwood, Parow, Bothasig crime page.

Two weeks ago, a woman posted that “there’s someone killing crows in AG Visser Street, Goodwood.”

The post has since been removed. Cape of Good Hope SPCA spokeswoman Belinda Abrahams said they were unaware of the allegations but would like to investigate.

The SPCA is worried about how crows, considered to be pests by many, are exterminated.

“Inhumane practices, for example, poisoning, could most certainly result in prosecution.

“We would like the opportunity to investigate further and appeal to the public for any information regarding the killing of crows,” Ms Abrahams said.

The City of Cape Town says the Indian house crow (Corvus splendens) is an invasive alien species. It was first recorded in Richards Bay, in KwaZulu-Natal in 1972, and arrived in Cape Town in the 1980s.

They are described as prolific breeders, and are known to have attacked people in Mitchell’s Plain and Nyanga. Area central mini mayor Siyabulela Mamkeli said house crows were listed as a category 1b species under the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act (NEMBA) “which means that the species has to be controlled and removed”.

The City, he said, had started a control project for house crows in 2009 when the population was estimated at 10 000. “To date, the population has been reduced to fewer than 500 birds,” he said.

Mr Mamkeli said the crows roosted in densely populated residential areas.

“They cause extreme noise nuisance to residents living around the roost in the early hours of the morning,” he said.

According to the City, house crows are known to prey on small animals such as lizards, birds and snakes. “They are capable of mobbing/attacking humans and dogs that walk past their nesting sites,” Mr Mamkeli said.

Residents can report house crow sightings to the City’s Invasive Species Unit at 021 444 2356 or email invasive.species@capetown.gov.za