City-wide public possum count on this weekend

Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group community engagement team leader Marcia Dale spots a stuffed...
Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group community engagement team leader Marcia Dale spots a stuffed possum at Tuhura Otago Museum. PHOTO: SIMON HENDERSON
People across Dunedin are encouraged to join a "pest-quest" this Saturday at 6.30pm.

Spotlight on Possums aims to count how many possums there are across the city.

The event is a joint initiative between Predator Free Dunedin, Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group, the Halo Project and City Sanctuary.

Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group community engagement team leader Marcia Dale said everyone looking at the same time helped map where there were high and low numbers of possums.

It was hoped the count could become an annual activity, providing a record of how pest management across the city was progressing, she said.

Possums were usually most active about an hour after dusk, and at this time of year possums could be hungrier, venturing out to find food.

Advice for possum spotters was to dress warmly and move very quietly, shining a light into nooks and crannies.

Possums could be found in trees, on fence lines, near compost bins and among bushes.

The activity was planned for this time of year to allow children to be involved as it turned dark earlier in the day.

Once families had recorded their observations, they needed to visit predatorfreedunedin.org/report-possum to add their information.

simon.henderson@thestar.co.nz

Members of Predator Free Dunedin (from left)  City Sanctuary operations supervisor Catherine...
Members of Predator Free Dunedin (from left) City Sanctuary operations supervisor Catherine Bradley, Predator Free project coordinator Sophie Bond and Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group community engagement team leader Marcia Dale 'spot' a stuffed possum at Tuhura Otago Museum. PHOTO: SIMON HENDERSON

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