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Published: 2001-08-27 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is planning a major blitz on possums in the Hakarimata Ranges.

Work begins in October on the project, which is designed to control possums primarily, but rats and stoats will also be reduced.

Environment Waikato Biosecurity officer Phillip Brown said controlling the pests would give native birds and other animals more food and prevent the pests eating eggs and other native species.

“It shouldn’t be long before we’ll be seeing more tui, bellbirds and kereru back in the Hakarimata Range, along with many other native birds, insects and lizards. Increasing the range of native species living in the area improves the health of the whole bush so that it will continue to regenerate and provide homes for native species.”

The contract will be carried out by major pest control company Epro Ltd. using a variety of control methods. They will be contacting landowners whose properties are next to the control areas, or who also need possum control done on their property. Several landowner and public meetings, including meetings with local iwi groups, have been held to provide information for everyone involved in the scheme.

Approvals for the work are needed from the Department of Conservation, Waikato District Council and the Medical Officer of Health. Environment Waikato is undertaking the work on behalf of the North Hakarimata Walkway Committee and in partnership with the Department of Conservation.