Chef Al Brown joined our staff and the Wilding Free Mackenzie Trust for a volunteer day to remove wilding pines in the Mackenzie area.
Managing pests and biosecurity threats
We are acting early and working in partnership to protect indigenous biodiversity, economic production and mahinga kai from harm caused by pests.
We control plants and animals that have a negative impact on our natural environment through the implementation of the Canterbury Regional Pest Management Plan.
To do this, we partner with Ngāi Tahu, landowners, communities and industry to promote pest management, develop an awareness of pest threats and encourage community action.
Our Biodiversity Advisory Groups are community groups that have been established to provide advice and support for regional biosecurity programme delivery in their respective regions.
We also contribute to local, regional and national biodiversity partnerships, such as the National Wilding Conifer Control Programme, Tipu Mātoro National Wallaby Eradication Programme, Wallaby Management Programme and South Island Councils’ Biosecurity Alliance, which enable us to share knowledge and resources and deliver programmes that are more efficient and better connected.
How are we tracking on our Levels of Service?
As part of this level of service we will:
- 14.1 Implement the Canterbury Regional Pest Management Plan (CRPMP)
- 14.2 Implement surveillance, investigations and pathway management initiatives to reduce the risk of pests and other invasive organisms establishing in Canterbury
- 14.3 Empower individuals and the community to assume responsibility for and take action to address biosecurity issues
How are we doing: All targets are on track.
Our pest monitoring programme has been progressing well this quarter, with a particular focus on collecting data on plant species (spatial, numbers, and densities) when inspecting sites and re-instating the nassella tussock population trend monitoring programme after a year's hiatus.
We are continuing to assess identified high-risk invasive organisms and this quarter we have made good progress with our pest plant sale surveillance programme. We have now doubled (to approximately 350) the number of sales outlets that we are monitoring. We have also expanded the programme to monitor fetes, fairs, and roadside stalls.
The Check, Clean, Dry surveillance programme we developed and implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Primary Industries was completed at the end of January 2023. This was a very successful programme and this year we had two advocates working with the community through the summer months. We have attended A&P shows across the region and produced stakeholder notices, 'biobites', and mailouts.
How are we doing on our key initiatives?
How are we doing: Wilding conifer control work has progressed at a strong pace across the region. Control work for two Management Units (Pukaki and Porters) is complete for this financial year. Three (Godley, Hunter Hills, and Banks Peninsula) are close to completion with a few patches left to finish, and the remainder are on track for completion by the end of the financial year.
Information on wilding conifers is included under ‘managing plant pests’. Download document: Wilding Conifers - What you need to know (PDF file, 945KB).
How are we doing: We hold the funds for the control work within our region, targeting the pests both inside and outside of a 900,000-hectare containment zone.
The status of this project has changed from 'monitor' in quarter two to 'on track' in quarter three as we have managed to source an alternative supply of bait which will allow our baiting operations to proceed as planned.
Recent highlights and updates
Part of the windswept Kaitōrete has been cleared of hedgehogs to protect vulnerable wildlife, in a proof of concept that’s thought to be a national first.
With artificial intelligence taking the internet by storm in recent months, our biosecurity team have taken the first steps to use it to identify pest plants.
Environment Canterbury and our partners have made great progress under the National Wilding Conifer Control Programme, but there is still plenty more to do.
Our waterways are vulnerable to infestations of exotic pest plant species that can choke our braided rivers and restrict the natural functions of waterways.