Rabbit killer to be released

The Waikato Regional Council will release a rabbit-killing virus to reduce the significant environmental and agricultural impacts of the pest in some parts of the region.

By the end of April it’s expected the new rabbit haemorrhagic virus disease strain will be released at sites in Hamilton, Cambridge, Pauanui, Whangamata, Thames, Matarangi, Taupō, Kuratau and Kinloch.

“The virus is specific to rabbits,” said Biosecurity pest animals team leader Brett Bailey.

Read more

Cat control saves birds

Birdlife is thriving in parts of Tamahere as residents plant more and a greater variety of trees but a growing number of cats is likely to be threatening the resurgent bird population.

The gully restoration forum held recently in Tamahere showed that the area’s gullies are an increasingly important Waikato ecosystem and the return of tui and other native birds gives a wildlife seal of approval to residents’ efforts.

But studies show that if left to roam uncontrolled the domestic moggy can cut a swathe through bird numbers.

Read more