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Farmers urged to take early action to prevent crop damage

Media release from Auckland/Waikato Fish & Game

Farmers urged to take early action to prevent crop damage

Auckland/Waikato Fish & Game is urging farmers to make plans now for reducing the damage that can be caused by large flocks of Paradise shelduck, and other game birds.

Game Bird Manager David Klee says that with summer approaching, farmers will start to see large groups of birds moving into their newly-planted crops.

“We urge farmers to plan ahead to reduce the damage done by these flocks,” he says. “We encourage farmers to place bird-scaring equipment out before the new grass or crops start emerging and providing birds with an easy source of food.”

Mr Klee says that farmers who have problems with Paradise shelduck on their irrigation lakes should start scaring the birds off before they start moulting in January.

He says the Auckland/Waikato office has a number of techniques available for farmers with particular problems along with a network of local rangers and club members who can assist with dispersal efforts.

Scaring cannons are another option, and they can be obtained through Auckland/Waikato Fish & Game. Farmers can call in to pick them up or they can be couriered. “However, we encourage farmers with chronic problems to buy their own equipment, which will save them time and money in the long run,” Mr Klee says.

He urges farmers to contact Fish & Game as soon as the birds start arriving, especially on properties where there’s a history of bird problems.

“It’s no good calling us once the damage has been done and there are moulting birds on a pond. You can’t really get them to move on if they’ve moulted and can’t fly!”

The Auckland/Waikato office is only too pleased to discuss farmers’ concerns or questions, to help them come up with suitable cost-effective solutions. Please phone: 07-849 1666 or Mob 021-300 183, or email us at dklee@awfg.org.nz

ENDS


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