16 Oct 2015

Hop to it with wallaby sightings - council

5:23 pm on 16 October 2015

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is pleading for reports of wallabies to stop them spreading and damaging new areas.


Have you seen wallabies in Bay of Plenty? Photo: Bay of Plenty Regional Council / Supplied

There have been recent sightings of the animals in Ōhiwa, Ōpōtiki, Whakatāne and Pāpāmoa.

But the council could not find the wallabies in some of those cases because people waited too long to report them.

Staff use a specially trained dog to try to find the animals, which are a serious threat to the environment.

A council land management officer, Dale Williams, said there would be severe consequences if they became established in Te Urewera.

"They have a marked impact on the understorey in our native forest. Unlike a possum, they can't climb up the tree so they're eating the seedlings and smaller saplings in the understorey," he said.

"You won't see the species they do eat because they've pretty much eaten most of them."

He said there had been wallabies in Bay of Plenty for more than a century but the council was doing its best to keep them where they were.

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