Thursday 14 November 2002

I’m grateful to Richard for pointing out this item about using alien possums as an economic resource. I’ll quote from the New Zealand Nature Co website:

Introduced into New Zealand about 150 years ago from Australia, the brushtail possum has multiplied now to over 70,000,000. With no predators, this pest has decimated huge tracts of New Zealand native forests eating 21,000 tons of vegetation nightly.

The brushtail possum has a fur similar in quality to mink and colours range from silver to red brown to dark brown. Preservation of New Zealand Native Forests requires control of the possum population. All controls used in the past have had minimum impact. Poisoning of possums is an environmentally unacceptable way of control. Only through world wide marketing of possum fur products (Eco-fur products ) can this pest be safely controlled. Our Eco Fur products are all of the highest professional standards.

I live in the brushtail possum’s native country, and there are times I would happily join the possum fur trade. A couple of them are dossing in my workshop right now, chucking things off the shelves, and worse. And here’s one that fell down the chimney and got trapped in the space above the wood stove in the kitchen — to find out what was making the scratching noises, I dismantled the stove flue and stuck a camera up the hole:

Brushtail possum in my chimney

It’s wonderful to live so close to nature.

I won’t mention what the scrub turkeys are doing to the vegetable garden. Grumble, grumble….

filed under Conservation

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