Possum management in New Zealand
IntroductionFind out about the agencies that manage possum control in New Zealand.
The National Possum Control Agencies (NPCA) was established in the early 1990s to co-ordinate strategic planning, standardise quality control and provide training and information exchange between agencies for possum control.
The member agencies of the NPCA are:
- TBfree New Zealand (formerly the Animal Health Board) is charged with eradication of bovine tuberculosis in farmed cattle and deer. To do this, it needs to control possums, which carry the disease in the wild and re-infect herds of animals adjacent to bush pasture margins.
- Regional councils have biosecurity obligations to control possums for animal health and conservation priorities. Councils are actively involved in possum control in urban and rural areas to reduce the spread of TB and to protect forestry and conservation values.
- Department of Conservation is charged with the care of New Zealand's native plants and wildlife. Possums are a threat to these values and in fact, the survival of whole ecosystems is affected by the possum. It commits resources to possum control at priority sites to ensure long term survival of species and the ecosystems that support them.
- Ministry for Primary Industries is the government agency that has overall responsibility for biosecurity issues. Possums are a threat to New Zealand's export potential because of the disease threat that possums pose. MPI keeps a close eye on all aspects of control operations.
Possum management and research websites
- AgResearch - Crown Research Institute focused on the agriculture and biotechnology sectors
- Environmental Protection Authority - reports on the 2007 extensive review of 1080 for use in pest control in New Zealand
- Ministry of Primary Industries - Includes publications about the biological control of possums, recent projects and where control methods may go in the future
- New Zealand Food Safety Authority
- New Zealand Government - Provides links to scientific research on possums from various government agencies.
- Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment
- Possum Management in New Zealand - reports from the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.
- TBfree New Zealand - information on bovine tuberculosis and the role of possums in the spread of this disease.