Greater Wellington Regional Council is carrying out a large-scale aerial possum control operation using 1080 poison in the Akatarawa Forest from late July, weather permitting. The operation is expected to be complete by the end of August.
Greater Wellington’s Landcare Committee Chair, Councillor Chris Laidlaw says that the operation is necessary to protect the health of this future water collection area. “A healthy forest provides the best land cover for water supply purposes as it filters out impurities and minimises erosion. Recent monitoring has shown that possum numbers in the forest are approaching unacceptable levels since our last operation in 2002. We also need to protect our economic investment in the 3,000ha plantation forest, part of the overall 15,000ha forest.
“Without control, the possums will have a devastating effect on native vegetation, pine trees and native wildlife,” says Cr Laidlaw. more