Zero possum update

Tuesday 2 April

Oākura residents on a mission to eradicate possums from the town are helping catch a possum a day.

About 50 possums have been found in urban backyards, parks and reserves in Oākura since 25 January 2019, when possum hunters Andrea and Max Hoegh, started working with residents to eradicate them.

“On average we’re catching a possum a day in backyards, in Matekai Park, near commercial buildings, they’re popping up everywhere,” says Andrea.

The dedicated couple returned from their wedding, in Ireland, and post-phoned their honeymoon earlier this year to help eradicate possums from urban Oākura.

The seaside town is part of a trial to eradicate possums as part of Towards Predator-Free Taranaki; the trial covers about 4,500 hectares of urban, rural and conservation land between the Timaru Stream and Oākura River from Pukeiti to the coast – it’s the first time possum eradication has been attempted across different land types in mainland New Zealand. It will build on predator control efforts by environmental restoration project Taranaki Mounga and community-led groups like Restore Oākura, Oākura Community Board and Kaitake Ranges Conservation Trust.

“The support from Oākura’s community is awesome, we’ve had regular reports of suspected possums from residents calling us on the 0800 number it’s been fantastic,” Max says.

However, he urged residents to be even more vigilant, on the look-out for possums, in the upcoming winter months when natural food sources became scarce and possums were more likely to visit backyards looking for other food.

“If you hear, see or suspect there may be a possum in your backyard or somewhere in urban Oākura then please call 0800 736 222 and report it,” says Max.

Towards Predator-Free Taranaki is a region-wide community project, supported by $11.7 million from Predator Free 2050 Ltd supported by


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