Silverstream TB pest control area reopens to dogs
The Silverstream catchment near Dunedin has been reopened to dogs, a year after a TBfree aerial 1080 possum control operation.
The end of the caution period, agreed with Dunedin City Council, reopens tracks and reserves at Silverstream, Swampy Summit, Whare Flat and Evansdale for dogs.
In June 2017 OSPRI undertook aerial possum control on land managed by DCC, Department of Conservation and private owners. DCC walking tracks reopened to people a few weeks after the operation but, as a safety precaution, DCC kept the area closed to dogs until a year after the operation.
OSPRI operations manager Matthew Hall says, ‘We would like to thank DCC and the local community for their support in our work to eradicate TB in this area as we are very mindful of the impact of our work, and the strong feelings some people have about aerial pest control, particularly the use of 1080.”
Many of New Zealand’s native species are threatened by pests such as possums. The use of 1080 for TB management and eradication has biodiversity benefits for native bird species and gives them a better chance of survival and nesting success.
The operation was the first on DCC land and was undertaken by OSPRI to defend against recent TB outbreaks among stock in the greater Dunedin area.
The possum population was monitored with wax tags after the aerial. The low number of wax tags with bite marks showed that the aerial was successful and that the low possum density needed for the TB eradication effort has been achieved.
OSPRI continues to monitor cattle and deer herds in the region. Three years of ground control at nearby Mount Cargill will be followed by wildlife surveys. No further aerials are planned at this stage; for full TB management plans, see ospri.co.nz/tma
Beyond work for TB purposes, OSPRI also supports community environmental initiatives and organisations such as the Landscape Connections Trust that focuses on predator control in a 3900 hectare buffer zone around the Orokonui Ecosanctuary
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