Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Kaitoke West/Akatarawa Saddle possum control

26 April 2005

Kaitoke West/Akatarawa Saddle possum control

Possum control using 1080 is planned between July and September this year in two blocks of land managed by Greater Wellington.

The areas are 1,500 ha in Kaitoke Regional Park’s western forest and 1,100 ha in the Akatarawa Saddle of Akatarawa Forest. These forests were last controlled in 2000, but possum numbers have built up again over time.

In 2003 Greater Wellington completed a successful possum control operation in the Hutt water collection area. “Since the operation, we have seen a great improvement in the health of the forest,” says Philippa Crisp, principal advisor of Parks and Forests. “Seedlings are now growing well and numbers of native birds, especially rifleman and tomtit, have increased.”

“Possum numbers were reduced from 23%RTC before possum control (twenty-three possums caught per 100 trap nights during monitoring) to 0.5%RTC percent after the control operation.”

There are large areas of lowland podocarp forest in Kaitoke West and the Akatarawa Saddle. These forests are important areas of biodiversity and recent monitoring has shown that possum numbers have reached an unacceptable level. Possums threaten our native forests, by damaging trees, shrubs and seedlings, as well as wildlife. They eat invertebrates and native birds’ eggs, and compete with native wildlife for food.

Aerial application has been chosen because of the terrain. Cereal bait containing 1080 poison will be applied by helicopter over the blocks. The operation will start in July as soon as a suitable window of weather occurs. A GPS satellite-based navigation system will ensure accurate delivery. The bait will be applied at a rate of 2kg per hectare, equivalent to one bait pellet per 33 metres square. Philippa Crisp says that all aspects of the operation will be approved by the Medical Officer of Health in advance.

“The operation will be managed throughout in accordance with his requirements to ensure there is no identifiable risk to the public.” A range of measures have being planned to minimise the possibility of people and domestic animals coming into contact with the dead possums that will result from the operation. Full details of these measures will be publicised closer to the beginning of the operation.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>





Featured InfoPages