Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Possums target for biological controls

9 December 2004

Possums target for biological controls

More effective, safe and socially acceptable ways to control possum numbers will be achieved by a new research programme funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.

The research programme, led by AgResearch in collaboration with Landcare Research, will receive approximately $2.5 million per annum over the next 4-8 years.

The Foundation is very pleased this programme brings together the best scientists in New Zealand working in this area. The integration of the two teams should result in better outcomes, achieved more quickly than the two teams working separately.

The programme will see geneticists, molecular biologists and experts in mammalian reproduction working together to develop biological means of controlling possums.

Controlling possum numbers is crucial because they threaten New Zealand's native forests, and compete with native birds and insects for food. They also carry bovine tuberculosis, which is harmful to New Zealand's beef and dairy industry.

Possum biocontrol methods are expected to be more effective than current poisoning and trapping methods, both environmentally and from an economic perspective. The Department of Conservation, the Animal Health Board, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, regional councils and private landowners currently spend millions of dollars every year controlling possums.

Successful implementation of this research would result in significant reduction in spending on possum control by these agencies, Resources could be put into other aspects of biodiversity management including management of other threats.

To ensure the public is comfortable with the biological controls proposed, the research team also includes social scientists. They will consult the public about the methods being developed and determine the factors that should be taken into consideration if such controls are to be used in New Zealand.

A crucial element of the programme is the input of the major organisations responsible for the development and implementation of current possum control in New Zealand - the Department of Conservation, the Animal Health Board, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and regional councils.
Their involvement ensures the new control methods, once developed, will be able to be implemented quickly and efficiently.

Over all, this research programme will aid in reducing possum numbers, and reduce the use of less-humane, non-specific and environmentally damaging poisons.

It will reduce the use of toxins, which are of concern to both conservation managers and to New Zealanders in general.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 


MPI: Dry Autumn In Waikato And South Auckland Leads To Drought Classification Drought conditions affecting the primary sector in the Waikato and South Auckland were today classified as a medium-scale adverse event, enabling a package of support for farmers and growers... More>>



Commerce Commission: Invites Feedback On Its Initial Views Of Wellington Airport’s Pricing Decisions

The Commerce Commission is inviting feedback on its initial views, released today, about Wellington Airport’s pricing decisions for specified airport services, such as aircraft parking or airfield and passenger terminal charges, for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2024... More>>



Government: Lower Card Fees On Way For Business, Consumers

A Bill to help lower the fees charged when credit and debit transactions are made, will save New Zealand businesses around $74 million a year... More>>



Barfoot & Thompson: Rents Up By Around 3% In Most Areas

The average weekly rent paid for homes in most areas of Auckland has risen by around 3 percent year-on-year. The figures for end March from more than 16,000 properties... More>>


DoC: Smeagol The ‘Gravel Maggot’ Leaves Its Rare Mark On The Remote West Coast
An extremely rare species of sea slug or ‘gravel maggot’ has been detected for the first time on a remote beach in South Westland... More>>



Immigration: Annual Net Migration Loss Of 7,300

The provisional net loss of 7,300 people in the year ended March 2022 was the lowest net migration for a March year since 2012, Stats NZ said today... More>>