The vision of a Pest-Free Peninsula

Wednesday 13th of March 2019, 05:20 PM (3 months ago)

Contact: David Lyttle | djl1yttle@gmail.com | (03) 454 5470

Speaker: Rod Morris and trustees of the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group (OPBG), a community led conservation initiative to control animal pests on Otago Peninsula to make the area a better place for people and native wildlife. They will talk about reclaiming the biodiversity values of the Otago Peninsula, and how OPBG are promoting and enhancing these values through predator control. Since 2011, the OPBG has removed 14,500 possums from Otago Peninsula and as a result several native bird species are increasing in abundance and spread, including korimako, tui and kereru. In addition to this, monitoring of forest remnants and reptile and invertebrate numbers is beginning to document other signs of recovery. This growing achievement is thanks to the concerted effort of an increasing number of volunteers - the backbone of this initiative - ably guided by staff, and assisted by funders and supporters.

The next five years will be crucial in eradicating possums. Already Government and local bodies are showing an interest in supporting the final drive for eradication, as part of the Predator Free NZ vision. We are already preparing for the return of native species such as falcon, morepork and kaka, as well as looking to the next animal pest or pests that need targeting. Peninsula residents are concerned about the presence of ship rats, mustelids, rabbits, hedgehogs and feral cats as the possum project gathers support and momentum! However as the talk demonstrates, this is not about killing possums, it’s about re-claiming our natural biodiversity. So... prepare to meet a suite of 'new' neighbours heading our way...

...karearea has already arrived on the Peninsula, kaka is an accessional and itinerant visitor from Orokonui, and ruru is already across the harbour, is getting closer and already visits the town belt.