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Published: 2007-08-21 00:00:00

Joint media release: Environment Waikato and Department of Conservation

Environment Waikato and the Department of Conservation (DOC) unveiled the changes they’ve made to their stage three possum control operation to residents around Coromandel town last Saturday.

Thirty-four people attended the day and DOC spokesperson Fin Buchanan said the feedback was positive.

“Generally, the people we spoke to were pleased we’re not proceeding with an aerial operation. But the real value of the day was having the opportunity to talk to people on a one-on-one basis about the issues and challenges we’ve got to balance with an operation like this.”

On public conservation land 1080 cereal baits or cholecalciferol in bait stations will be used. Private land owners are able to choose from a range of ground-based control methods, including trapping.

But the decision not to carry out an aerial operation means a smaller area will be treated. And that means the Peninsula Project’s ability to reduce erosion and run-off in small rainfall events or increase the number of native plants, birds and animals in the wider Coromandel town area may be compromised.

“Originally, this operation would have extended all the way to Koputauaki Bay. It’s now likely to finish slightly south of Whangapoua Rd, but the exact boundary won’t be finalised until we’ve confirmed the control methods each land owner in the area wants on their property,” Mr Buchanan said.

Based on the control methods each land owner wants, the area will be divided into manageable treatment blocks. Environment Waikato and DOC will then call for expressions of interest to find out who is interested in tendering for the work.

DOC staff, who have already met with many of the land owners in the area, hope to have met with everybody by the end of the next month. In the meantime, a newsletter will be mailed to all land owners in the revised operational area outlining the changes that have been made to this stage three operation.