Recent photos in local media show the benefits of well-managed pest control in our Coromandel native forest. The improvements in forest cover and native bird numbers and biodiversity are obvious. Now, Forest and Bird have highlighted another huge benefit – controlling deer, possums, goats, feral pigs and other invasive mammals could let established native forests recover to the point where they sucked in 15 per cent of New Zealand’s yearly greenhouse gas emissions. That is equivalent to around 60% of New Zealand’s transport climate emission pollution
Per year, counting foliage eaten directly and other impacts, the group estimated 8.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide could be saved by culling pests to the lowest possible level.
The group also tallied the methane belched by deer, goats and other feral mammals (not including pigs, which don’t burp much of the greenhouse gas) – concluding methane from pests was also a significant contribution to warming
We need a joined-up approach which coordinates efforts to protect biodiversity with our climate pollution reduction goals. That is the approach I have been advocating at Waikato Regional Council.