Local residents are invited to learn more about Pest Free Banks Peninsula’s plans to ramp up efforts to protect native wildlife and vegetation by eradicating possums and other pest animals.
Ambitious new programme
Pest Free Banks Peninsula spokesperson, Dr David Miller, said the control programme is part of a 30-year initiative; to protect biodiversity across the 115,000-hectare peninsula, and support sustainable agriculture and tourism. It replaces the previous possum control programme run by Environment Canterbury.
“Possums are causing havoc to our native vegetation and wildlife, so we’re looking to start a new programme with the aim of eradicating possums from south-eastern Banks Peninsula over the next five years. From there we will progressively work outwards across the peninsula.”
Miller said the project needs the support and involvement of landowners and residents to achieve its long-term vision.
“We understand some landowners would like to see possums controlled over the entire peninsula. It is, however, widely accepted that the previous possum programme was no longer achieving its desired impact. We need to look at new ways of doing things.
“Over the next 6 months we will trial new methods of controlling possums to see if we can provide effective and affordable suppression beyond the eradication area to keep possum numbers down,” says Miller.
Residents are invited to attend public meetings which will be held over the following weeks at the Akaroa Sport Pavilion and at the Little River Rugby Club Rooms.
- Friday, 24 January 2020 – 6pm – Akaroa Sport Pavilion
- Wednesday, 29 January 2020 – 6pm – Little River Rugby Club Rooms
Find out more
Groups, businesses or individuals wanting to get involved can find further information on the Pest Free Banks Peninsula website
Pest Free Banks Peninsula is a partnership of 14 parties, including central and local Government, five Ngāi Tahu Rūnanga, and commercial and not-for-profit organisations. The group are working towards a vision of making Banks Peninsula pest free by 2050.
The new possum control programme complements other initiatives that are also underway. This includes a programme to eradicate feral goats from the Peninsula within five years and urban trapping programmes in many areas, including Christchurch’s Port Hills.
The new possum programme will be integrated with a Department of Conservation and Orion initiative launched late last year which focuses on controlling possums on public conservation land within the Peninsula.