Out Damn Pests

New Zealand’s possum population has halved over the last 20 years down from 70 million in the 1980s to approximately 30 million. Possum control is carried out over 13 million hectares, which is about half the total area of vegetation in New Zealand. Landcare Research says it is working. Around Wellington the possum population has reduced by almost 90 per cent. Possum hunter Stu Bennett says controlling possums helps reduce the spread of bovine tuberculosis and protects New Zealand’s forests. “It’s about $NZ100 (per kg [of possum]) at the moment. People can make a living off it.” Bennett says possums might be cute, but that does not cut it in New Zealand. “Well, 70 million possums speaks for itself,” he says. “They’ve made a huge, huge mess to our forests. But there’s also video evidence of them eating our native birds, eating the eggs. They’ve really had a huge impact.”


Tags: ABC News  Landcare Research  New Zealand native birds  Possum  Wellington  

New Zealanders Turn over Their Guns

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