Within this section…
George Niha (left) and regional council Pest Management Officer, Steve Henderson with a possum trapped in the local Pipiwai CPCA.
Tackling weed and animal pests in Northland is a big job and one way we do this is through our increasingly popular Community Pest Control Areas (CPCA).
These are set up in areas identified by a local community as worth protecting and can target multiple pests at the same site.
First introduced in 2005, we now have 36 CPCA plans covering 32,675 hectares of private land all over Northland. These target pest ants, animals and weeds and involve more than 800 owners, including individuals, community trusts and Maori land shareholders.
As part of a CPCA, we work together to draw up a pest list and plan how these can be controlled long-term with both ourselves and an affected community contributing financially.
We can negotiate flexible agreements which take into account the resources and skills a community has; for example a contractor may carry out free initial control work to cut pest numbers to levels a group or landowners can then manage.
We can also supply free traps, agrichemicals, poisons and monitoring equipment for the first two years (and then at half price for another two years) and teach you pest control and monitoring techniques.
When proposing a CPCA, a community group needs to work with us and local landowners to prepare a management plan.
This will need clear objectives, including the level of control to be achieved for each pest, the proposed costs to landowners and how much support you'll need from us.
Plans also need to include how to keep pest numbers down long term, ways to monitor this and the resulting environmental benefits we're all seeking.
Find more information on some of these pest animals and plants by clicking the links below.
All pest organisms listed in our Regional Pest Management Strategy can be included in a CPCA. While not restricted to this list, some common animal and plant pests are:
· Broom (Cytisus scoparius)
· Brush wattle (Paraserianthus lophantha)
· Cape honey flower (Melianthus major)
· Cape ivy (Senecio angulatus)
· Egeria (Egeria densa)
· Elodea (Elodea canadensis)
· German ivy (Senecio mikanioides)
· Glyceria (Glyceria maxima, G. fluitans, G. declinata)
· Great bindweed (Calystegia silvatica)
· Grey and crack willows (Salix cinerea, S. fragilis)
· Himalayan honeysuckle (Leycesteria formosa)
· Japanese spindle tree (Euonymus japonicus)
· Lagarosiphon (Lagarosiphon major)
· Mexican daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus)
· Oxylobium (Oxylobium lanceolatum)
· Parrots feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)
· Plectranthus (Plectranthus ciliatus, P. ecklonii, P. grandis)
· Queensland poplar (Homalanthus populifolius)
· Smilax (Asparagus asparagoides)
· Sweet pea shrub (Polygala myrtifolia)
· Velvet groundsel (Senecio petasitis)
· White monkey apple (Acmena smithii)
While we currently do not have any marine pests included in a CPCA, we could consider this if requested by an interested local community.
Maintenance is the responsibility of individual landowners within a control area, but a community group can help, including co-ordinating the work. Landowners need to undertake maintenance work or ensure pests are kept to agreed levels and we'll audit to ensure this happens.
Areas are assessed on a number of criteria, in consultation with an affected community. Key amongst these is that there must be good landowner support for pest control and maintenance work.
We also consider a host of other factors including a pest's impact (real or potential) on the environment, economy, cultural and other matters.
An area also needs to be ‘defendable' using open land, rivers or the sea as buffer zones to help minimise reinvasion of pests.
Community pest control helps protect native species like out kiwi (Photo: DOC).
Contact council biosecurity officers on (0800) 002 004 or visit www.nrc.govt.nz/nasties