by Jesse Brennan, Federated Farmers Policy Advisor
My first week at Feds saw me jumping into the world of Dama wallaby control in the central north island. This species is well established in the Bay of Plenty Region, and have continued to push their way into the Waikato region at an estimated rate of 0.8 kilometres a year. What is scary is that if these pests are left unchecked, it could cost New Zealanders $84 million a year by 2025, including lost farm production and ecosystem services. The good news is that a lot of work is being done in this space to control the species. In 2020 as part of the ‘Jobs for Nature’ funding, approximately $27 million has been allocated to control wallabies between 2020 and 2024 across New Zealand. Funding is delivered through partnerships with Bay of Plenty Regional Council (‘BOPRC’), Waikato Regional Council, the Department of Conservation, and Te Arawa Lakes Trust. I had a really good chat to the Wallaby Programme Lead at BOPRC who is leading the programme for the central north island.
Funding is delivered through partnerships with Bay of Plenty Regional Council (‘BOPRC’), Waikato Regional Council, the Department of Conservation, and Te Arawa Lakes Trust. I had a really good chat to the Wallaby Programme Lead at BOPRC who is leading the programme for the central north island. The focus of the programme at this stage is eliminating populations of wallabies outside of the progressive containment area Once outlying populations have been addressed, the long term the focus will shift to eradicating the species within the progressive containment zone. It was reassuring to hear that there is significant investment and effort is being thrown at this issue. Council is urging landowners, occupiers, and members of the public to report any sightings of wallabies, or evidence of their presence (faecal material that is almost square and flattened, or tail marks) as soon as practical.
Reports can be made online at www.reportwallabies.nz, or by calling 0800 STOP PESTS (0800 786 773). Council is working with impacted landowners to plan and deliver wallaby control on populations, at no cost to them. We have issued an advisory to our members in the Bay of Plenty Region, Taupo District, and South Waikato District. These areas are where Dama wallaby are most prevalent, so awareness will allow us to help efforts, and make sure our members know how to report wallabies and get help to address them.