Is a dead one, as they threaten animal health and biodiversity.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is giving a friendly reminder to landowners to continue to undertake possum control as it is their responsibility, but not everyone is doing it.

Contracts manager for pest animals Allan Beer told BayBuzz the possum control programme has been in place for 23 years.

“Thanks to the hard work of farmers and contractors, the possum population has been maintained at very low levels,” Beer said.

“It’s important that landowners continue to undertake possum control annually, as once possums increase in numbers it can be costly to reduce them back down. Most farmers are doing their part and are maintaining low possum numbers on their blocks, but not all. 

“The Regional Pest Management Plan indicates that the Possum Control programme must maintain possum density to 4% Residual Catch Trap Index (RTCI). Our current monitoring for 23/24 is sitting at a mean average of 3% RTCI. So far, the total area monitored for 23/24 is around 220,000ha’s.” 

Possums are found right across the region and Regional Council’s catchment management lead biosecurity Matt Short said that possum control remains the responsibility of landowners, since the move to Regional Council-led control is on hold.

“The Regional Pest Management Plan change to a Regional Council and contractor model was voted on in December 2022, but now with a strong focus on cyclone recovery, we are not able to implement this transition,” Short said.

“We have had feedback that some landowners are unaware control remains their responsibility until further notice. With others seeing rising possum numbers, it’s crucial land occupiers continue annual possum control on their land.”

He said the Regional Council had considerably increased the possum monitoring programme and continued to provide advice around control methods to landowners.

“We will be watching possum numbers closely and working with land occupiers where there are issues.”

The Regional Council subsidises possum bait and bait stations by 40% at Farmlands and PGG Wrightson stores.

Public Interest Journalism funded by NZ on Air


Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. We live some 3 minutes walk from the local post-shop in Waipawa….trapped 14 possums on our 1/2 acre section….possum stew anyone?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *