The Otago Regional Council wants anyone who has seen a rook to get in touch with them but chess and poker players need not reply.
The rooks the council is hoping people may have spotted are the feathered kind.
Rooks are part of the crow and raven family and are black in colour. The council says they are a significant rural pest, chomping their way through pasture and crops.
It believes there are about 100 rooks left in the region, down from a peak of several thousand.
It wants people who have seen a rook to let the council know, so it can carry out further pest control operations.