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Updated 30 June 2022 11:45am

Possum eating a Kereru (NZ Pigeon) egg - Ngā Manu Nature Images.

Why are possums a problem?

The possum is one of the greatest threats to our natural environment. They have such a massive impact because of their feeding habits and large numbers. They:

  • Kill native birds and eat their eggs, and native insects
  • Eat the leaves, buds, berries, nectar and flowers of trees. This can kill trees and deprive native animals of food and habitat
  • Spread bovine Tb which threatens New Zealand’s export cattle, deer and dairy industries
  • Damage commercial forestry, orchards and horticultural crops
  • Ruin garden plants and fruit trees, and live in sheds and roof spaces

Find out more about possums.

How to protect the environment from possums

Depending on your location you can:

Possum damage to a tree

What’s happening in the region

There are possum control operations in approximately 650,000ha of our region – it’s a team effort and it’s working.

Ongoing trapping operations means we can reduce the amount of toxins needed to keep possum numbers low.

In 2007 Wellington’s Miramar Peninsula was declared possum-free. The intensive three year possum control programme involved a mix of bait stations and traps. Find out about this and other community predator free programmes.

The possum control operations include:

If your property is near an existing possum control operation then contact us to see if this can be added to the control area. Outside of these areas we can provide free advice, training and materials at cost price for you to undertake the control yourself.

More information

2050 Predator Free

Landcare Research Possums

National Pest Control Agency (NPCA) Best Practice Guidelines

Vertebrate Pest Control

Bionet - information about pests and disease in New Zealand