Plan for possum-free peninsula

Another round of public consultation will be held to seek Otago Peninsula residents' views on moving towards a possum-free peninsula.

The Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group is working towards a pest-free peninsula, starting with eradicating possums.

After meetings this year, there was support for the concept.

A monitoring programme was done to check possum densities.

It indicated low to moderate possum densities, with several higher density "hot spots" showing an eradication programme was worthwhile and viable.

Project manager Rhys Millar said a management plan had been completed by independent contractors and a `sector by sector' approach had been suggested.

The peninsula would be divided up into four sections with work to start at the Cape Saunders sector, followed by the Taiaroa Head sector before moving back towards the Portobello township.

Concurrently, there would be a project to assist landowners who want to undertake pest control on their own property, he said.

But before the programme could become a reality, a "concerted" fundraising campaign would be needed.

How that could be done would be one of the issues discussed at public meetings being held at Portobello (October 27), Pukehiki (October 28) and Macandrew Bay (October 29), he said.

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