The Taranaki Regional Council is seeking public submissions on its proposal to bring mustelids (ferrets, stoats and weasels) into its pest management ‘rule book’, the Regional Pest Management Plan for Taranaki.
This would result in obligations on land occupiers to control mustelid numbers, in the same way that the Plan obliges them to control possum numbers.
Mustelids are effective and opportunistic non-indigenous predators that have been implicated in the decline and even extinction of native bird species.So they’ve been a prime target in the roll-out Towards Predator-Free Taranaki, the multi-year programme to boost populations of native plants, birds and reptiles by removing introduced threats. This largely voluntary programme is enjoying widespread support and involvement throughout the region. Techniques and strategies for controlling mustelids have been honed and are getting good results.
Formally including mustelids in the Regional Pest Management Plan would help to lock in and expand these gains. They would prevent mustelid ‘hotspots’ from forming in locations that volunteers have not reached.
How would it work?
The Council would identify ‘Predator Control Areas’ where land occupiers in a locality agree to participate in the programme. This is similar to its approach under the long-running and successful Self-Help Possum Control Programme.
In each of the Predator Control Areas, the Council would undertake initial predator control targeting mustelids. After initial predator control work has been undertaken, occupiers within the area will be required to control and maintain mustelid numbers at the reduced levels.
It is an offence under the Biosecurity Act not to comply with the Plan’s requirements.
How do the rules get changed?
The proposal arises from a formal partial review of the operative Regional Pest Management Plan for Taranaki, which currently targets 18 pest species. Most are plants, with the possum being the only animal.
The proposal has been publicly notified and you have an opportunity to make a formal submission.
The Council welcomes submissions on the proposal. Submissions close at 4pm on Friday 4 December 2020.
You are encouraged to make an online submission(external link).
Written submissions should be sent to:
Taranaki Regional Council
Private Bag 713
Submissions must state:
- Full name and postal address of the person making the submission.
- The specific provisions of the partial review of the Regional Pest Management Plan for Taranaki to which the submission relates.
- The nature of the submission – in essence, whether you support or oppose the specific provisions, or if wish to have amendments made, giving reasons.
- The precise details of the decision you wish the Council to make.
- Whether or not you wish to be heard in support of your submission.
- The signature of the person making the submission (or the person authorised to sign on their behalf): the date of submission and contact telephone number.
If you have any queries or require further information, please email email@example.com with ‘Pest Management Plan Review’ in the subject line.