July 25, 2016 at 6:02 pm #1638arranwParticipant
Why not target the whole ecosystem? Native species like birds will never return to their full healthy glory without the irradiation of all pests – adding goats, deer etc to the list.
We can keep some areas as game reserves for hunting, fenced onshore islands, but return the majority of bush to its rich lush favourite state.
August 27, 2016 at 8:55 pm #1769narenaParticipant
Pest free is a step too far, otherwise all our introduced birds will suffer the fate of the rook, corvus frugilegis, which became listed as an Unwanted Organism in New Zealand, and the focus of eradication campaigns by several regional councils, and may well have been exterminated.
Rooks are a minor agricultural pest, certainly no worse than say yellowhammers, so why is one being pursued and not the other? It would seem that one of requirements of the Biosecurity Act, as it now stands, is that pest control must be cost effective, so the yellowhammer is too numerous and widespread to eradicate but the rook is apparently a viable target for eradication. Both birds were introduced from Europe, as bio-control agents.
In perusing the voluminous amount of data on pest strategies on line for the Wellington Regional Council, I have managed to glean that over a period of twenty years 2002-2022 at a cost of $60,000 a year it is proposed to eradicate the rook. Part of that budget goes towards putting up helicopters to find the rookeries.
There is no similar proposal to eradicate mustelids or rats, at this stage, as like the yellowhammer it is not cost effective. Possums are dealt with because of necessity for tb control. Extrapolating from this, it is costing councils around the country many millions to eradicate the rook, money which could have been spent on our precious endemic birds.
Are there plans to target other introduced birds?
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