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


Watch Out For Wallabies

Aotearoa’s silent pest is a growing concern – “We can’t afford to let wallaby populations spread further,” says Biosecurity New Zealand’s director of readiness and response, John Walsh.

Holidaymakers out tramping and camping this summer are being urged to keep an eye out for signs of an unwanted pest in New Zealand – the wallaby.

Residents and those visiting parts of Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury and Otago regions, where populations are known to exist, can play a vital role in stemming the rising population of this silent pest.

Biosecurity New Zealand’s director of readiness and response, John Walsh, says while wallabies are naturally elusive, hiding in bush or scrub during the day and coming out to feed at night, reported sightings of wallabies – dead, alive, paw prints, or scat (poo or droppings) are fundamental to the success of stopping their spread.

“We have a real concerted effort underway in partnership with regional councils, the Department of Conservation, manawhenua, industry groups and landowners to try to contain existing wallaby populations, because left unchecked, they could cover a third of the country over the next 50 years.

“This partnership, the National Wallaby Eradication Programme builds on existing wallaby management work, and with $27 and half million dollars funding over four years, it is also boosting regional employment opportunities while also delivering environmental and economic benefits.”

“We can’t afford to let wallaby populations spread further. Ultimately – we want the country to be wallaby-free. It’s not a quick fix, and we need to get it right,” says Mr Walsh.

“Wallabies have a huge appetite for many of our native seedlings, shrubs, ferns and grasses which prevents their regeneration, changing the structure of our forests and reducing their ability to support our native birds and other wildlife. Our estimates place the environmental and economic damage caused by wallabies reaching $84 million a year in lost farm production and ecosystem services by 2025.”

Wallabies were introduced to New Zealand in the late 1800s, mainly for sport and the value of their skin, but without any natural predators, their populations have surged wildly.

This is particularly true in two areas of concern, South Canterbury and Rotorua Lakes, where their numbers are up in the tens of thousands.

Control efforts by local councils, landowners and organisations have been underway in these regions for decades but have been stepped up through the unified National Wallaby Eradication programme.

Wallabies are classified as an unwanted organism in the Biosecurity Act 1993, which means they can't be bred, sold, moved, or exhibited without a permit. There are fines of up to $100,000K and/or five years imprisonment for those who do.

What to do if you spot a wallaby

Reporting the wallaby is a way everyone in New Zealand can help protect the environment and treasured biodiversity. The public can report any sightings of wallabies anywhere in New Zealand to www.reportwallabies.nz.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Ethics Of Omicron Treatment, Plus A Playlist

As the Omicron infection wave prepares to break across New Zealand, the “red” condition is likely to be more of a form of gestural politics, than as a useful shield. Good ideas like masks and social distancing and limits on social gatherings are not going to do much to slow down the rate of infections. At base, the traffic light system has been a mechanism devised to enable businesses to continue to operate, regardless of the state or public health. It was created in response to the Delta outbreak, and it took final shape just as Omicron emerged in South Africa...


Save The Children: Thousands Join Call To Retain New Zealand’s Children’s Commissioner

More than 6000 Kiwis have joined Save the Children New Zealand’s call to retain the vital role of Children’s Commissioner, as the Government considers a new bill proposing major changes to the office, including the removal of a named Children’s Commissioner... More>>

Science Media Centre: Omicron Outbreak Would Move The Country To Red - Expert Reaction

The Prime Minister has announced if Omicron cases spread into the community, the country will move to the traffic light system's Red setting within 48 hours. Jacinda Ardern also mentioned there will be changes to the country's testing regime, with more use of Rapid Antigen Tests... More>>

Government: New Zealand Prepared To Send Support To Tonga

New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today... More>>

TradeMe: Property Prices Increase By A Record 25% In One Year
In December, the national average asking price jumped by a quarter year on year, to reach a new high of $956,150, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index. Trade Me Property Sales Director Gavin Lloyd said last month’s national average asking price increase was the largest on record... More>>

Statistics: Departures Lift Border Crossing Numbers

The number of people crossing New Zealand’s border went up in November 2021, mostly due to an increase in departures, Stats NZ said today. There were 28,700 border crossings in November 2021, made up of 12,300 arrivals and 16,400 departures... More>>

Financial Services Federation: Open Letter To Government From Non-bank Lenders: The Path Forward On CCCFA Changes
Responsible lenders are not interested in telling the Government “I told you so” when it comes to unintended consequences of changes to lending laws that are now causing grief for everyday Kiwis seeking finance... More>>




InfoPages News Channels