sign uplog in
Want to go ad-free? Find out how, here.

Home under the ranges

Home under the ranges
When the kowhai trees flower, Otaki deer farmers the Croads have to take cover from low-flying feathered wood pigoens says The Dom Post . The fat birds are joined by big flocks of tui and bellbirds in descending on the garden from the nearby Tararua forest park in search of food and shelter. The birdsong is disturbingly raucous. They have been farming on the slopes of the Tararua Range behind Otaki for 30 years but the birdlife has only appeared in such numbers in recent years.  Errol traces the change to the rejuvenation of the park's native bush after an intensive possum-killing campaign. The reason for the possum cull was a tuberculosis outbreak in his deer herd. It changed Mr Croad's life, "It knocks you financially and emotionally and leaves you questioning your abilities as a farmer."As a longtime deer hunter he supported the Deerstalkers Association's belief that 1080 was unacceptable; that it killed not only possums but all bird and animal life. But he wanted the possums and ferrets "“ carriers of the Tb that had devastated his farm "“ gone. "It was the best thing that could have happened," he says. "It zeroed the possums and killed all the ferrets and wild cats. The bush regrowth has been amazing and the bird life has exploded." He is now a firm supporter of 1080.

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.