Dar es Salaam poisons crows

Dar es Salaam has begun a renewed poisoning campaign in an attempt to eradicate the Indian House Crow, also known as the Colombo Crow, killing thousands of the birds resident mainly along the city's coastline.

The DRC 1339 poison is mixed with food left for the birds which are scavengers and native to the Indian sub-continent. The poison is biodegradable and kills the crows 8 hours after ingestion, with the majority of the birds dying in their roosting areas at night. Since the eradication project was launched in Tanzania two years ago, some 750,000 House Crows have been killed.

The latest poison project, which began in late August, is being overseen by the wildlife division of the ministry of natural resources and tourism, and is funded by the Danish and Finnish embassies as well as Washington aid agency USAID.

Seen by many as a pest, no population of the bird is known to exist independently of humans. It was introduced to Tanzania after some crows were presented to the Sultan of Zanzibar in 1897.

In Europe the bird has been breeding in western Holland since 1998 and has recently been spotted along the south-west coast of Ireland.