New pest-free agreement launched

The Conservation Minister has launched another pest-free agreement, this time focused on Banks Peninsula or Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū.

More than a dozen groups, including the Department of Conservation, Environment Canterbury and Ngāi Tahu, have agreed to work together to remove pests from the 115,000hectare peninsula by 2050.

The minister, Eugenie Sage, said long-standing successful trapping programmes have almost doubled the populations of kororā or white-flippered penguins and tītī or sooty shearwaters on the south-eastern side of the peninsula.

That showed the potential of a pest-free environment, she said.

A spokesperson for the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust, Amy Carter, said locals wanted to do more to monitor and eradicate pests.

Species needing protection in Banks Peninsula – and the Port Hills – include penguins, falcon, jewelled geckos and long-tailed bats.

Farmers, residents and schools were also helping to control pests, Ms Carter said.

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