Dom Post: Birdlife explosion as possum numbers slashed

Paul Easton of the Dominion Post reports on the success of anti-possum strategies, which have procued drops in posusm numbers of up to 87% since 1980s.

Overall, the number of possums in New Zealand has approximately halved over this period, with Wellington showing the largest decrease.  The decrease in possum numbers has meant a recovery for both native plants and animals, and is part of the recent explosion in tui numbers in Wellington.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“New research shows possum numbers have plummeted from between 60 and 70 million during the 1980s, to about 30 million.

“The study, by Landcare Research wildlife biologist Bruce Warburton, used satellite-imaging technology to analyse 52 vegetation types, which helped show how many possums each area could accommodate.

“The Conservation Department and regional councils also provided information.

“The study found the forests could host 48 million possums, with no pest control. But when efforts to beat possums were included, that figure dropped to 30 million. “New Zealanders have been fascinated by how many possums there are, ever since the estimates of 60 to 70 million were generated in the 1980s.””